South Korea boosts its AI chip industry with $642M amid ChatGPT frenzy

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South Korea hopes to beryllium a cardinal subordinate successful fulfilling nan caller world request for next-generation AI chips, and coming nan authorities put immoderate money wherever its rima is: nan country’s Ministry of Science and ICT said it would earmark $642.5 cardinal (826.2 cardinal won) done 2030 to put successful companies moving connected precocious AI chips. The finance will impact building caller information centers, and moving pinch AI spot startups and unreality work providers, among different projects.

The news touches connected a mates of notable currents successful nan world of tech correct now. For one, location is nan existent OpenAI/ChatGPT frenzy: caller advances successful generative AI constituent to a early wherever AI could create a caller activity of services and make existing processes much efficient, and truthful a batch of consumers and organizations — tech and non-tech — are considering really this could activity for them. All that AI information crunching, however, needs immense processing power: cue an opportunity and request for amended chips and architectures to tally those services much efficiently, and a consequent title among companies and countries to beryllium nan ones to meet that demand.

Added to that is South Korea’s macroeconomic potential. There is simply a long-lingering mobility people complete what domiciled China will play successful nan years up successful nan world of hardware and precocious technologies — thing that has geopolitical arsenic good arsenic economical implications — and that’s spurring R&D and ambitions from a wider group of countries to complement and so compete amended pinch China successful nan tech industry. Indeed, South Korea’s efforts are not alone: they travel arsenic Japan, India, nan U.S. and others research really they excessively tin do much successful nan precocious spot race. South Korea’s advantage is that it’s already a behemoth: it’s not conscionable nan location to respective iconic mobile brands and services, but it’s besides a awesome supplier of components for an moreover longer database of players.

Today’s announcement is portion of nan country’s bigger integer strategy plan. Unveiled successful September 2022, nan government’s digital strategy fund places bets connected six awesome technologies — AI, AI semiconductors, 5G and 6G communication, quantum, metaverse and cybersecurity. AI is simply a large portion of that vision: Seoul astatine nan clip set aside astir $795.3 cardinal (1.02 trillion won) for AI semiconductors and $235.3 cardinal (301.8 cardinal won) for next-generation AI from 2022 to 2026.

(Note: finance numbers for nan AI semiconductor manufacture betwixt nan September 2022 fund and today’s news alteration not conscionable because of nan timescales, but because nan costs screen various projects, and these person different timelines.)

As its first project, Seoul will prosecute AI chipmakers and unreality companies arsenic early arsenic April for 2 information centers, known arsenic neural process portion (NPU) farms, which will only usage home AI chips. The announcement indicates that nan 2 information centers are projected to unfastened arsenic early arsenic 2024.

Three AI chipmakers successful South Korea — Rebellions, Sapeon Korea and FuriosaAI — will subordinate nan bid for nan information centers by teaming up pinch 1 of nan unreality firms specified arsenic Naver Cloud, KT Cloud, KaKao Cloud and NHN Cloud, sources acquainted pinch nan business told TechCrunch.

Rebellions, Furiosa AI and Sapeon Korea spokespeople confirmed to TechCrunch that they scheme to bid for nan information centers without providing further details.

We don’t cognize which unreality companies will partner pinch which nan AI chipmakers yet, but Rebellions has been backed by Korean telco KT and Temaske’s Pavilion Capital; Furiosa AI has received backing from Naver. Sapeon, a Korean telco elephantine SK Telecom subsidiary, which has raised backing from SK Hynix, SK Telecom and SK Square, already offers its first AI spot X220, manufactured by TSMC and launched successful 2020, to NHN Cloud.

Rebellions and Furiosa AI person not yet moved into wide production. Both purpose to commercialize their products adjacent year, according to nan manufacture sources.

Rebellions strategically announced earlier this week that it had launched an artificial intelligence (AI) spot called ATOM, manufactured by Samsung and utilized successful information centers, chatbot AI and machine vision.

Furiosa AI is besides group to unveil its 2nd AI spot for Chatbot AI applications and plans to commercialize nan 2nd AI spot successful nan first 4th of adjacent year.

Apart from nan information halfway bid, nan AI spot industry’s astir notable strategical woody has been a business betwixt nan nation’s 2 largest tech firms, Samsung and Naver, which will activity together to create AI chips.

South Korea aims to create up to 50 types of AI chips, focused connected strategy semiconductors. It believes it has nan imaginable to unafraid 20% of nan world AI spot marketplace by 2030. The world AI spot marketplace is projected to scope $263.6 cardinal by 2031, 37.1% up from $11.2 cardinal successful 2021, according to a study by Allied Research. 

Editor: Naga

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