OpenAI and Arm may be potential buyers of British chip startup Graphcore

Following the circulation of news regarding Graphcore’s plans to seek an external sale, reports have emerged suggesting potential buyers, including Arm and OpenAI, for the British semiconductor startup.

The interest from OpenAI and Arm in acquiring Graphcore, a UK-based semiconductor innovator, may significantly contribute to reducing the costs associated with AI usage and facilitate the widespread adoption of artificial intelligence processors.

Previously, there were discussions that Graphcore could be sold for more than $500 million, having engaged in acquisition talks with leading technology firms to secure additional funding to address its escalating losses.

OpenAI bankrupt

Graphcore’s operational challenges have been compounded by a series of setbacks, including the imposition of U.S. technology export bans leading to the discontinuation of its operations in China, staff reductions, and Microsoft’s decision to replace Graphcore’s C2 IPU on its Azure cloud service platform with NVIDIA products for cloud services and AI acceleration tools, significantly impacting Graphcore’s investments.

Furthermore, numerous technology companies’ poaching of Graphcore’s technical talent has severely affected its business, necessitating the sale to raise additional funds or resolve financial shortages.

Graphcore’s core technology focuses on designing Intelligence Processing Units (IPUs) optimized for AI acceleration, boasting lower power consumption for large-scale AI computational loads, thus mitigating the high electricity consumption associated with GPU acceleration. Should OpenAI acquire Graphcore, it could achieve its goal of in-house processor development while potentially lowering the costs of AI services. Conversely, an acquisition by Arm could promote the emergence of more processors integrated with AI computational capabilities.