OpenAI, the company behind the popular chatbot ChatGPT, is considering producing its own artificial intelligence (AI) chips to address the persistent shortage it has been grappling with, Reuters reported on October 6, 2023.
OpenAI has reportedly conducted thorough market research, including the possibility of acquiring an undisclosed chipmaker. However, the plan is still in the early stages of development, with internal discussions ongoing. Last year, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman highlighted the importance of acquiring more chips for its operations, as the shortages were impeding the company’s short-term goals.
A now-deleted blog post by Raza Habib, CEO of AI firm Humanloop, shed light on the issue: “A common theme that came up throughout the discussion was that currently OpenAI is extremely GPU-limited and this is delaying a lot of their short-term plans. The biggest customer complaint was about the reliability and speed of the API. Sam acknowledged their concern and explained that most of the issue was a result of GPU shortages.”
AI chips have become a hot commodity since ChatGPT launched to much acclaim. These chips are designed to make building AI systems faster and cheaper. However, with the proliferation of several AI startups, it has become much more difficult for OpenAI to acquire these chips for its chatbot. As a result, OpenAI has begun considering solutions to combat the scarcity issues it faces. Some solutions the company is reportedly considering include the development of proprietary chips, strengthening its partnerships with Nvidia, which dominates more than 70% of the market, and exploring alternative chip suppliers.
If OpenAI were to begin manufacturing its own chips, it would join a small band of tech giants, like Google and Amazon, that produce their own chips.