Masayoshi Son, the founder of SoftBank Group Corp, which has a majority stake in one of the biggest chip designers on the planet, ARM, is looking to build a massive AI chip venture worth $100 billion. The goal here is to compete against American chipmaker giant Nvidia and provide semiconductors crucial for AI development, sources familiar with the situation have disclosed.

This new project by SoftBank is codenamed Izanagi, named after the Japanese God of creation and life, partly because it includes the initials for artificial general intelligence (AGI), sources said. Izanagi marks Son’s next big venture as SoftBank significantly scales back on startup investments.

According to sources who wished to remain anonymous due to the private nature of the discussions, Son’s ambition is to establish a firm that would enhance the capabilities of chip design subsidiary Arm Holdings Plc, positioning the billionaire to create a powerhouse in the AI chip industry. SoftBank would provide $30 billion to the venture while $70 billion would come from Middle Eastern investors, but this is only one of the plans under consideration.

Should the endeavor prove successful, this chip venture is poised to become one of the most substantial investments in the field of AI since the emergence of ChatGPT, surpassing Microsoft Corp.’s recent investment in OpenAI, which exceeded $10 billion.

Son has predicted the emergence of AGI for ages in his speeches. According to the billionaire, in a world filled with machines smarter than humans, everyone would live happier, safer, and healthier.

The financing and expenditure plan for the project remains undetermined, with potential for further development, insiders report. Son is actively engaged in devising various investment approaches and tactics to amplify Arm’s influence in the AI industry, while also delving into diverse next-generation chip technologies.

The key players that will emerge to drive the technology capable of rivaling Nvidia, the dominant entity in the realm of high-end AI accelerators, have yet to be identified.

Both SoftBank and Arm are yet to share an official comment on the matter.

In the wake of numerous challenging setbacks with his startup investments, Son is now concentrating his energies on Arm. He envisions the potential to establish a formidable entity, aiming to rival the prestigious ‘Magnificent Seven’ stocks, sources have indicated.

Via: Bloomberg