Nvidia CEO says he will try to prioritise Japan for AI processors


FILE PHOTO: A view of a Nvidia logo at their headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan May 31, 2023. REUTERS/Ann Wang

TOKYO (Reuters) - Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said on Monday his company would do its best to supply its artificial intelligence processors to Japan amid extremely high market demand.

Japan is rushing to rebuild its once world-leading semiconductor infrastructure and catch up on the development of AI technology. The graphics processing units (GPUs) made by U.S.-based Nvidia dominate the market for AI.

"Demand is very high, but I promised the prime minister we will do our very, very best to prioritise Japan's requirements for GPUs," Huang told reporters at Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's official residence in Tokyo.

Huang's visit came less than two weeks after Japan passed an extra budget that included about 2 trillion yen ($13.60 billion) earmarked for chip investment.

Some of the funds are expected to be used to support Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC and chip foundry venture Rapidus, which aims to manufacture cutting-edge chips in Japan's northern island of Hokkaido.

"The semiconductor industry that Japan is now starting to grow and foster will be able to produce GPUs," Huang said.

"Countries like Japan are realising that you need to own your own data, build your own AI factories and produce your own AI intelligence," he added.

($1 = 147.0500 yen)

(Reporting by Yoshifumi Takemoto and Rocky Swift; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Jamie Freed)

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