Silicon Valley Tech News Roundup – February 11th

FTX customers may receive a full repayment – 2/10

Last week, the lawyers representing the bankruptcy estate of FTX informed the judge in Delaware, they expect FTX will be able to refund any customers and creditors of the failed cryptocurrency exchange with legitimate claims.

Andrew Dietderich (the lawyer working with FTX) stated that while „there is still a great amount of work and risk“ ahead for the new leadership team in order to get the money back, they have a “ strategy to achieve it.” The new CEO of FTX, John Ray III, with a team of restructuring advisors, has been tracking cash, crypto, luxury property, and other missing assets. The market also saw a massive rebound. FTX’s bitcoin stash, for example, was worth $560 million in September. Today, it is worth more than $1 billion after bitcoin rebounded.

According to the reports, there are up to a million FTX customers who lost billions of dollars 15 months ago when FTX declared bankruptcy in a matter of days.

Sam Bankman-Fried was found guilty on seven criminal counts in November. The court scheduled his sentencing for March.

Sam Altman wants trillions of dollars to revamp the semiconductor industry – 2/9

According to a report published by The Wall Street Journal, Sam Altman (the CEO of OpenAI) wants to revamp the global semiconductor industry and is looking for trillions of dollars in investment to accomplish it. One source claims Sam Altman needs between $5 trillion and $7 trillion dollars for the project and is in talks with different investors (including the government of the United Arab Emirates).

Altman often spoke about the problem with the supply and demand for AI chips. Many AI companies want them, but since there are not enough to go around, it impedes OpenAI’s growth.

In a post on X, Altman wrote that OpenAI believes: “the world needs more ai infrastructure–fab capacity, energy, datacenters, etc–than people are currently planning to build… building massive-scale AI infrastructure, and a resilient supply chain, is crucial to economic competitiveness.“

Nvidia has been a massive player in the generative AI field as tech companies require the GPUs (graphics processing units) for the large language models created by OpenAI, Meta, and Amazon (among others). Nvidia’s market cap is around $1.72 trillion, and the company controls about 80% of the AI chip market. According to some, Altman likely wants to change that.

OpenAI did not respond to a request for comment.

Nvidia building a new business unit for bespoke chips – 2/9

According to a report published by Reuters, Nvidia is creating a new business unit that will focus on designing bespoke chips, including advanced artificial intelligence processors, for cloud computing companies and others. Experts believe Nvidia is trying to capture the market for custom-made AI chips and ensure protection against companies trying to find alternatives for Nvidia’s products. Nvidia controls about 80% of the high-end AI chips market. The company’s value more than tripled in 2023, and has gone up 40% this year to $1.73 trillion.

Nvidia’s customers include OpenAI, Meta, and Alphabet (among others), and all use Nvidia’s A100 and H100 chips. These serve as all-purpose AI processors for the majority of customers. However, some tech companies have started developing their own specialized chips for their specific needs. By doing so, some of Nvidia’s revenue went to rivals like Marvell Technology and Broadcom. Nvidia wants to play a role in helping these tech companies develop their own custom chips.

According to sources, Nvidia’s representatives met with teams from Google, OpenAI, Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta to discuss making custom chips for the companies. Also, the company is pursuing video game, telecom, and automotive customers.

The company did announce in 2022 that it would allow third-party customers to integrate some of its propriety technology with their own chips.

A spokesperson for Nvidia declined to comment. Likewise, the representatives for OpenAI, Amazon, Meta, Microsoft, and Google declined to comment.

Instagram and Threads to stop recommending political content – 2/9

In a blog post published on Friday, Adam Mosseri (the CEO of Instagram) announced Meta will no longer recommend political content on Instagram and Threads. The company will apply changes over the next few weeks.

Users can still see political content from the accounts they already follow. However, neither of the apps would “proactively amplify” such posts. Users who want to interact with such content and want it recommended, will have to turn off the limitation in their account settings. The change will apply to public accounts and in places where the Meta recommendation algorithm suggests posts (like Reels and Explore on Instagram and Suggested Users on Threads).

Mosseri wrote: “Our goal is to preserve the ability for people to choose to interact with political content, while respecting each person’s appetite for it.“

Mosseri did not clarify what amounts to political content. However, Meta’s spokesperson clarified: “Our definition of political content is content likely to be about topics related to government or elections; for example, posts about laws, elections, or social topics… These global issues are complex and dynamic, which means this definition will evolve as we continue to engage with the people and communities who use our platforms and external experts to refine our approach.“


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