SoftBank Founder to Raise $100 Billion for Chip Venture

TOKYO – Masayoshi Son, the visionary founder of SoftBank Group Corp., is embarking on an audacious mission to reshape the semiconductor landscape. His latest endeavor, Project Izanagi, is a $100 billion AI chip venture that seeks to challenge the dominance of tech titan Nvidia Corp. in the realm of cutting-edge semiconductors for artificial intelligence applications.

Izanagi, named after the Japanese god of creation and life, represents a bold leap into uncharted territory. Here are the key details about this momentous decision:

  1. Ambitious Funding: Masayoshi Son aims to raise a staggering $100 billion to fuel the Izanagi project. Bloomberg reports that SoftBank itself will contribute $30 billion, while Middle Eastern investors are expected to inject an additional $70 billion into this groundbreaking venture.
  2. Strategic Alignment with Arm: Izanagi will work in tandem with Arm, the renowned chip design business. SoftBank holds a commanding 90 percent stake in Arm. However, the precise nature of their collaboration remains to be defined. The synergy between Izanagi and Arm could potentially reshape the semiconductor landscape.
  3. Long-Term Vision: Masayoshi Son has long been a proponent of artificial general intelligence (AGI). He deliberately chose the name Izanagi, with the last three letters representing AGI. His commitment to advancing AGI has driven significant investments over the years, including the establishment of the SoftBank Vision Fund in 2017. While the Vision Fund faced challenges, SoftBank’s ownership of Arm has recently bolstered its financial position.
  4. Separate from OpenAI’s Plans: The Izanagi project is distinct from OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s multi-trillion-dollar chip ambitions. However, Son and Altman have previously explored the possibility of joining forces to raise capital for semiconductor manufacturing.

In a rapidly evolving technological landscape, Project Izanagi stands as a testament to Masayoshi Son’s unwavering vision and determination. As the race for AI supremacy intensifies, all eyes are on this colossal investment that could shape the future of semiconductors and redefine the boundaries of innovation. (zai)
Photo: VCG