UK To Invest £100M On AI Chips

In a move to strengthen Britain’s AI sector, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced a substantial investment of £100 million from public funds for semiconductor procurement.

This allocation aims to drive the development of AI technologies and enhance computing resources. This decision comes amongst negotiations with microchip giants Nvidia, AMD, and Intel, signalling the government’s commitment to advancing the nation’s AI ambitions.


Strategic Investment in AI Infrastructure


The UK government is taking significant steps to secure a competitive edge in the AI landscape. Reports suggest that discussions are underway with prominent US microchip manufacturers such as Nvidia, AMD, and Intel.

These conversations aim to secure a steady supply of high-performance chips that are crucial for driving advancements in AI technologies. The undertaking is led by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), an organisation at the forefront of promoting research and development initiatives across the country.


Nvidia’s Role in AI Advancement


One of the key players in this endeavour is Nvidia, a technology giant worth over $1 trillion. The company’s graphics processing units (GPUs) have played a pivotal role in powering various AI applications, including the generative AI models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

In fact, the latest iteration of ChatGPT, a product of Nvidia’s GPU capabilities, has been trained on an impressive fleet of 25,000 Nvidia chips. Despite its remarkable contribution, concerns have been raised about whether the government’s intended order of 5,000 GPUs will be adequate to meet the burgeoning demand.


Calls for Additional Funding


While the government’s commitment to AI development is evident, there are calls for additional funding to solidify the country’s AI infrastructure.

Civil servants have expressed the need for supplementary funds to support AI infrastructure projects. A spokesperson from the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology (DSIT) emphasised the complementary nature of the £100 million investment through UKRI and the Foundation Model Taskforce’s separate allocation.

The spokesperson also underlined the government’s dedication to maintaining the UK’s position as a global leader in science, innovation, and technology.



Global Summit and Parliamentary Inquiry


The government’s announcement has sparked inquiries and debates within the political arena. Questions about the allocation of AI funding have been raised by ministers, highlighting the need for transparency and effective utilisation of resources.

Labour MP Darren Jones has sought clarity on the Foundation Model Taskforce’s spending plans through a letter, underlining the importance of a comprehensive strategy.


Sunak’s Vision for Technological Supremacy


The £100 million semiconductor procurement aligns with Prime Minister Sunak’s vision of positioning the UK as a science and technology superpower. With AI identified as a focal point of the country’s technological aspirations, Sunak has already approved funding for a generative AI taskforce and a significant £1 billion semiconductor strategy.

However, despite these considerable investments, there are voices expressing concern that the current support falls short when compared to international competitors. The United States and the European Union, for instance, allocate substantially higher funding to semiconductor-related initiatives, dwarfing the UK’s allocation.


Global AI Summit: Challenges and Contemplations


On the horizon, the UK is set to host a global AI safety summit in November. This ambitious event seeks to address critical concerns surrounding the ethical and safety implications of AI advancements.

However, uncertainties linger, including the participation of countries like China. As the UK charts its course in the realm of AI, such global dialogues will play a pivotal role in shaping the trajectory of AI development and its implications on a global scale.




Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s commitment of £100 million to semiconductor procurement marks a decisive stride towards realising the UK’s ambitions as a technological powerhouse.

By engaging in negotiations with microchip giants and investing in AI infrastructure, the government is laying the foundation for transformative advancements in AI technologies. While challenges remain and funding disparities persist, the UK’s determination to excel in the AI landscape is resolute. The forthcoming global AI summit stands as a testament to the country’s dedication to fostering responsible and innovative AI development.