[News] SoftBank Founder Masayoshi Son Plans to Raise USD 100 Billion to Establish AI Chip Company

2024-02-19 Semiconductors editor

SoftBank Group founder Masayoshi Son, as per a report from Bloomberg, is planning to raise USD 100 billion to establish an AI chip company, aiming to complement the group’s ARM business.

The report indicates that Masayoshi Son plans to name the new artificial intelligence chip venture “Izanagi,” after the deity of creation and life in Japanese mythology, and Son himself will directly lead the project.

Regarding funding, reportedly, one proposed scheme under consideration involves SoftBank providing USD 30 billion, while another USD 70 billion may come from institutions in the Middle East.

However, details regarding the final funding sources and how the funds will be utilized in the future have not been disclosed by Masayoshi Son at this time.

Masayoshi Son is highly optimistic about the development of AI, claiming to be a heavy user of ChatGPT in an interview and engaging in conversations with it almost every day. In October 2023, Son expressed his belief that within the next decade, artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence in nearly all domains, achieving a level of general artificial intelligence.

SoftBank’s UK-based chip intellectual property company, Arm, raised approximately USD 4.87 billion in its initial public offering. At the time of Arm’s listing, Son stated that he is a big believer in artificial intelligence and that Arm will also be at the core beneficiary of the AI revolution.

At the shareholders’ meeting on June 21, 2023, Masayoshi Son presented a chart of human evolution titled “Evolution Speed.”

The chart depicted a flat curve from the birth of humanity to the agricultural revolution, followed by a slight increase during the industrial and information revolutions. This indicated that the curve representing the development of artificial intelligence would experience a rapid upward surge within a few years, with its slope approaching a nearly vertical line.

Read more

(Photo credit: SoftBank News)

Please note that this article cites information from Bloomberg, Reuters, CNBC and TechNews.