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OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is reportedly seeking approval from the U.S. government for an initiative aimed at enhancing the global manufacturing of artificial intelligence chips.

The venture has the potential to raise national security and antitrust concerns in Washington, Bloomberg reported Friday (Feb. 16).

Altman has been actively engaging with potential investors and partners in the United States, Middle East and Asia, but he has emphasized the importance of obtaining approval from Washington before proceeding, according to the report.

He has held meetings with key officials, including Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, to discuss his plan to expand the world’s capacity to manufacture AI computing chips, the report said.

Among the potential partners for Altman’s venture are major chip fabricating companies such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Intel and Samsung Electronics, per the report. Altman has already met with executives from Samsung and TSMC and has also been in discussions with Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds regarding potential investments.

Altman is attempting to collaborate with the U.S. government on matters of approvals, timing and the structure of the venture, according to the report. OpenAI has been engaging in discussions about enhancing global infrastructure and supply chains for chips, energy and data centers needed for AI and other industries.

However, Altman’s fundraising efforts may trigger a national security review of foreign investment by a committee chaired by the Treasury Department, the report said. Additionally, the Commerce Department’s controls on chip shipments to the Middle East could pose challenges.

Altman’s exact plan is still evolving, and he is closely monitoring the market to determine whether to focus on a less extensive effort to build lower-level chips and software or to aim for a larger overhaul of chip manufacturing capacity, per the report. The decisions made will ultimately determine the amount of funding required. Altman is also exploring ways to increase the supply of green energy for AI chip manufacturing, which could further increase costs.

It was reported Feb. 8 that Altman’s efforts to reduce the scarcity of AI chips could mean raising between $5 trillion and $7 trillion. Those figures would eclipse the current global semiconductor market, which is projected to become a $1 trillion business by the end of the decade.

The shortage of graphics processing units essential for running AI applications has been a concern for OpenAI. Currently, Nvidia dominates the market, holding a global market share of over 80%.

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