OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, is exploring making its own artificial intelligence chips and has gone as far as evaluating a potential acquisition target, according to people familiar with the company’s plans.
The company has not yet decided to move ahead, according to recent internal discussions described to Reuters. However, since at least last year it discussed various options to solve the shortage of expensive AI chips that OpenAI relies on, according to people familiar with the matter.
These options have included building its own AI chip, working more closely with other chipmakers including Nvidia and also diversifying its suppliers beyond Nvidia.
OpenAI declined to comment. CEO Sam Altman has made the acquisition of more AI chips a top priority for the company. He has publicly complained about the scarcity of graphics processing units, a market dominated by Nvidia, which controls more than 80% of the global market for the chips best suited to run AI applications.
The effort to get more chips is tied to two major concerns Altman has identified: a shortage of the advanced processors that power OpenAI’s software and the “eye-watering” costs associated with running the hardware necessary to power its efforts and products.
Since 2020, OpenAI has developed its generative artificial intelligence technologies on a massive supercomputer constructed by Microsoft, one of its largest backers, that uses 10,000 of Nvidia’s graphics processing units (GPUs).