Microsoft, OpenAI plan $100 billion data-center project, media reports say

Microsoft and OpenAI are working on plans for a data center project that could cost up to $100 billion and include an artificial intelligence supercomputer called “Stargate” to launch in 2028, The Information reported on Friday. .

OpenAI did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

The rapid adoption of generative artificial intelligence technology is skyrocketing the demand for AI data centers capable of handling more advanced tasks than traditional data centers.

Citing people involved in private conversations about the proposal, The Information reported that Microsoft would likely finance the project, which is expected to be up to 100 times more expensive than some of the largest existing data centers.

The proposed US-based supercomputer would be the largest in a series the companies plan to build over the next six years, the report said.

The information attributed to the $100 billion tentative cost comes from a person who spoke to Altman about it and a person who has seen some of Microsoft’s early cost estimates. It did not identify those sources.

Altman and Microsoft spread the supercomputer into five phases, with Stargate being the fifth phase. According to the report, Microsoft is working on a smaller, fourth-stage supercomputer for OpenAI, which will be launched around 2026.

The report says Microsoft and OpenAI are in the midst of the third phase of a five-phase plan, with a significant portion of the cost of the next two phases involving acquiring the necessary AI chips.

AI chips are often sold at high prices. Jensen Huang, CEO of chip company Nvidia, told CNBC in early March that the latest “Blackwell” B200 artificial intelligence chip will be price Between $30,000 and $40,000.

Microsoft also had announced A pair of custom-designed computing chips in November last year.

The report says that the new project will be designed to work with chips from different suppliers.

“We are always planning the next generation of infrastructure innovations needed to push the limits of AI potential,” a Microsoft spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Reuters. The spokesperson did not comment directly on reports about the planned launch of the Stargate supercomputer.

The report said spending for the plan could exceed $115 billion, three times more than Microsoft spent on capital expenditures for servers, buildings and other equipment last year.