It's official: The AI world's latest buzz is OpenAI's intriguing consideration of making bespoke AI chips. Amidst a growing global chip scarcity, OpenAI, a forerunner in the AI startup scene, is deliberating a momentous pivot.
Behind closed doors, insiders say, chip strategy chats have been buzzing since last year. With the scarcity of chips for training AI models exacerbating, OpenAI is surveying its options. Will they snap up an AI chip manufacturer or craft their own in-house design? CEO Sam Altman, according to Reuters, is making this shift a company focal point.
As of now, like its rivals, OpenAI harnesses the power of GPU-based hardware to breathe life into renowned models like ChatGPT and GPT-4. Nvidia, a major GPU maker, reaps the benefits of this AI surge. But, alas, the overwhelming demand has strained GPU supplies, with Nvidia's premium chips booked solid till 2024.
And it's not just about availability. GPUs, the powerhouses driving OpenAI's models, come with a hefty price tag. Analyst Stacy Rasgon's startling insight reveals that running ChatGPT at a fraction of Google Search's scale would necessitate a whopping $48.1 billion GPU investment!
But OpenAI's chip aspirations aren't unprecedented. Tech behemoths like Google, Amazon, and reportedly, Microsoft, are already navigating these waters with their custom chips.
Financially speaking, OpenAI's coffers are robust. Boasting over $11 billion in venture funds and nearing $1 billion in yearly revenue, the firm's finances are in an enviable state. Their projected valuation might even catapult to $90 billion, per Wall Street Journal speculations.
Yet, delving into the AI chip universe isn't a bed of roses. Remember Graphcore's billion-dollar valuation dip? Or Habana Labs’ workforce cutbacks? Meta, too, faced hurdles in its AI chip escapades, leading to certain projects being shelved.
Diving into AI chip creation could be a colossal, years-long endeavor costing millions annually. While OpenAI might be ready, would its backers, like Microsoft, be game for such a high-stakes venture? The AI community watches with bated breath.