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Sam Altman in talks with Taiwan’s TSMC over chip venture

OpenAI seeks to reduce reliance on Nvidia's graphics processing units, which are backbone of AI boom

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TSMC. (Reuters photo)

TSMC. (Reuters photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is in talks with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) and Middle Eastern investors over a new chip venture.

According to the Financial Times, OpenAI is looking to reduce its reliance on Nvidia, whose graphics processing units (GPUs) are the backbone of the artificial intelligence boom. Altman has been in talks with investors in the United Arab Emirates, including Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed al-Nahyan, one of Abu Dhabi’s wealthiest people, sources told the paper.

Altman is also discussing with TSMC about a partnership to manufacture the chips, according to the sources. Bloomberg first reported that the OpenAI CEO was in discussions with Middle East investors about a chip venture.

It’s unclear how much Altman is trying to raise for the venture, but developing chips is highly expensive and would likely cost billions of dollars, per Financial Times. OpenAI needs thousands of semiconductors to train its large language models and demand for GPUs is high.

OpenAI is expected to release the latest iteration of its AI model sometime this year, the report said. It is also not clear if the chip venture would be a subsidiary of OpenAI or a separate entity. Sources told the Financial Times that OpenAI would be the new firm’s main customer.