OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is actively seeking to establish a global network of semiconductor factories, suggest reports.  

Altman has been engaging in discussions to raise billions from investors for a new chip venture.  

The initiative aims to meet the growing demand for artificial intelligence (AI)-related chips, which current forecasts suggest will outstrip supply.  

Altman has approached several potential investors, including Abu Dhabi-based G42 and SoftBank Group, to secure the necessary capital for chip fabrication plants, colloquially known as fabs.  

Sources said that the envisioned network would collaborate with leading chip manufacturers and will be of global scale.  

The discussions are in the preliminary stages, and a definitive list of partners and funders is yet to be confirmed. 

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By GlobalData

The fundraising reflects a strategic move divergent from the industry norm, where tech giants such as Amazon, Alphabet, and Microsoft—OpenAI’s largest investor—typically design custom silicon and outsource production.  

Building a single advanced fab can cost tens of billions, and a global network would represent a significant long-term investment.  

Talks with G42 alone targeted raising between $8bn and $10bn, though the current status of these negotiations remains uncertain, sources said.  

Altman’s push for immediate action is driven by the anticipation of a chip supply crunch by the decade’s end. 

Since the release of ChatGPT over a year ago, the surge in AI interest has led to a spike in demand for the necessary computing power and processors.  

Industry leaders Intel, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), and Samsung Electronics are considered potential partners in this venture. 

Despite being temporarily removed from his CEO position at OpenAI in November, Altman resumed his efforts upon returning.  

He has also engaged Microsoft in discussions about the plan, with the software giant showing interest, according to sources.  

OpenAI, G42, Intel, Microsoft, SoftBank, and TSMC have refused to comment, while Samsung has not provided a comment.