OpenAI To Buy $51 Mn of AI Chips from OpenAI's CEO backed Startup

ChatGPT maker OpenAI, in 2019, had signed a nonbinding agreement to spend $51 million on AI chips from a startup called Rain AI into which OpenAI CEO has invested in his personal capacity.

According to a report by Wired, Altman had personally invested by more than $1 million into Rain AI, by leading a seed round in the startup in July 2020. The letter of intent has not been previously reported. The AI Chip Startup is located less than a mile from OpenAI’s headquarters in San Francisco.

Founded in 2017, by Gordon Wilson, Jack Kendall and Juan Nino, Rain AI is working on a chip it calls a neuromorphic processing unit, or NPU, designed to replicate features of the human brain. The Sam Altman backed startup claims that its brain-inspired NPUs will yield potentially 100 times more computing power and, for training, 10,000 times greater energy efficiency than GPUs, primarily sourced from Nvidia.

Just a few days back, Biden-led US administration had reportedly forced a Saudi Aramco-backed venture capital firm Prosperity7, to sell its shares in Rain AI, reported Bloomberg.

Rain AI had also raised a small seed funding from the venture unit of Chinese search engine Baidu.

While Amazon and Google have spent years developing their own custom chips for AI projects. Altman has refused to rule out OpenAI making its own chips apparently because of the fact that unlike OpenAI Amazon and Google have other business verticals–revenues to fund the AI chip of their own.


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