OpenAI is looking to establish an AI semiconducter partnership with Samsung and SK Group with CEO Sam Altman at the helm. Altman recently visited South Korea to meet with high-level exectuvies of the two chipmakers to discuss investment opportunties and a potential AI chip partnership.
Altman’s visit included a tour to Samsung Semiconductor’s factory in Pyeongtaek, reports Korean news outlet ETnews. Hence, there’s growing speculation that OpenAI, driven by Altman’s vision, is aiming to develop and produce its unique AI chips.
While not yet formally verified, Altman has recently voiced apprehensions regarding the present and potential expansion of chip shortages, particularly in the context of developing and deploying AI systems.
Both Samsung and SK are renowned for their prowess in High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) technology, an integral component in AI chip development. As reported by ETnews, Altman’s visit primarily revolved around deliberations concerning potential collaboration and investments in the realm of AI chip manufacturing. It is reported that Altman has conveyed a keen interest in procuring HBM technology from Samsung and SK.
According to the report, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman also met with other company executives during his visit that have previously secured investments or worked alongside Samsung and SK Group.
Samsung Electronics have also been working with Google to provide generative AI features in Samsung phones. The Galaxy AI features showcased in the latest Galaxy S24 smartphones are powered by Google’s Gemini Pro AI model, but the Chinese alternatives come with Baidu’s Erni AI.
Reports from both the Financial Times and Bloomberg indicate that Altman is currently engaged in negotiations with prospective major investors. These discussions involve key players such as G42, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, and the formidable SoftBank Group Corp, which owns notable chip designer ARM, with the goal of establishing an expansive global network of AI chip manufacturing facilities, valued in the multi-billion dollar range.
Interestingly, it has been disclosed that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) is also a participant in these ongoing dialogues.