ChatGPT maker OpenAI could make its own AI chipsets

OpenAI is considering the prospect of manufacturing its own artificial intelligence chips, a potential shift that could lead to ChatGPT being powered by in-house chips in the future. According to Reuters, OpenAI is actively exploring the feasibility of creating its own AI chips and has even evaluated potential acquisition opportunities in this regard. This strategic move comes as a response to GPU shortages, which OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, had previously identified as impacting the speed and reliability of the company’s API. Acquiring more AI chips has been prioritized to address this issue.

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Beyond alleviating GPU shortages, OpenAI’s adoption of proprietary chips could also enhance the cost-effectiveness of its product operations. An analysis by Stacy Rasgon from Bernstein Research reveals that each ChatGPT query currently incurs approximately 4 cents in costs for the company. With the service garnering 100 million monthly users within its initial two months, resulting in millions of daily queries, this translates into substantial expenses. While the service did experience user attrition in July, Rasgon predicts that if ChatGPT queries were to reach a fraction of Google’s volume, OpenAI would require an initial investment of $48.1 billion in GPUs and an annual expenditure of $16 billion on chips.

Presently, the AI chip market is largely dominated by NVIDIA. OpenAI’s reliance on NVIDIA GPUs is exemplified by its use of a Microsoft supercomputer equipped with 10,000 NVIDIA GPUs for developing its technology. In response, prominent tech players have initiated endeavours to develop their proprietary chips. Microsoft, one of OpenAI’s primary supporters, has been working on its AI chip, codenamed Athena, since 2019, as reported by The Information. OpenAI has reportedly been testing this technology.

The ultimate decision to proceed with these plans remains uncertain for OpenAI, as per Reuters. Furthermore, even if the company chooses to proceed, the transition to employing its own chips to power its products could span several years.