After Sam Altman, SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son joins AI chip race

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New Delhi, Feb 17 (IANS) As the generative AI race heats up, SoftBank Founder and CEO Masayoshi Son is reportedly aiming to raise about $100 billion for his AI venture, in a bid to take on graphics chip giant Nvidia.

SoftBank may infuse $30 billion and can raise $70 billion from investment firms in the Middle East, reports Bloomberg, citing sources.

The AI venture would complement the business of UK chip designer Arm, in which SoftBank has a 90 per cent stake after its IPO.

Arm’s shares went up this week after Nvidia disclosed it had acquired a $147.3 million stake in the SoftBank-backed firm.

Arm was acquired by SoftBank for $32 billion in 2016. SoftBank failed to sell it for $40 billion to Nvidia in 2022 amid regulatory hurdles.

Softbank’s Son is not alone in the race to build a next-generation AI venture with billions of dollars.

According to a latest report in the Wall Street Journal, OpenAI Co-founder and CEO Sam Altman is in talks with investors, including the UAE government, to raise funds for a tech initiative that would boost the world’s chip-building capacity.

“The project could require raising as much as $5 trillion to $7 trillion,” the report mentioned, citing sources.

Altman has often said there aren’t enough high-end GPUs to power OpenAI’s quest for AI.

Global sales of chips were $527 billion last year and are expected to rise to $1 trillion annually by 2030.



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