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Saudi Arabia, UAE join Elon Musk and Chinese tech titans in the race for scarce Nvidia chips

Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, reacts to a video at his keynote address at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. January 7, 2018.
Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia, reacts to a video at his keynote address at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S. January 7, 2018.Rick Wilking/Reuters
  • Tech titans around the globe are scrambling to buy Nvidia chips.

  • Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the latest big buyers of Nvidia tech that's vital to the AI arms race.

  • The move adds to concerns of a chip shortage, with demand for GPUs outpacing supply.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the latest players looking to snap up Nvidia chips to power their artificial intelligence ambitions, joining Elon Musk and China in an ever-growing queue of buyers for the tech.

The Gulf states have signaled their intention to become major players in AI by buying up thousands of Nvidia's graphic processing units (GPUs), which are vital in powering the boom in generative AI that has swept markets this year.

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Saudi Arabia has purchased at least 3,000 of Nvidia's H100 chips at $40,000 dollars apiece, while UAE has ordered a fresh batch of semiconductors to power its own large language model, according to the Financial Times.

The two Middle Eastern governments face competition from around the globe – joining the race for Nvidia stock alongside the likes of China and Elon Musk.

Last week the Financial Times reported that four Chinese tech giants, including Alibaba and TikTok-owner Bytedance, had ordered $5 billion worth of the company's GPUs amid growing fears that the Biden administration will soon restrict their access to US exports.

Meanwhile, billionaire entrepreneur Musk is also keen on the tech, buying thousands of the chips for his generative AI project xAI, Insider reported in April. Later that month, he confirmed that "Twitter [now X] and Tesla are certainly buying GPUs".

The Gulf states' interest only adds to growing signs that Nvidia might not be able to produce enough GPUs to meet the massive demand. Insider reported in June that Nvidia GPUs are already in such short supply – and so expensive – that venture capitalists have started buying them directly for their portfolio companies.

Nvidia's stock has roughly tripled in price this year, as investors wager its sought-after chips will play a key role in powering the AI revolution. The graphics-chip specialist is the S&P 500's best performer in 2023 – up over 200% year-to-date – and its market capitalization has swelled to over $1 trillion.

Read the original article on Business Insider