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Elon Musk may build a multibillion-dollar supercomputer in Memphis, Tennessee

Ana Altchek   

Elon Musk may build a multibillion-dollar supercomputer in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Elon Musk's xAI may build the world's largest supercomputer in Memphis, Tennessee, pending approval.
  • The multibillion-dollar project, called the "gigafactory of compute," could create hundreds of jobs.

Elon Musk may have found a home for xAI's supercomputer.

The AI business founded by Musk is working with Memphis to make the Tennessee city the lead location of the world's largest supercomputer, referred to as the "gigafactory of compute," according to a statement from the Greater Memphis Chamber on Wednesday.

The multibillion-dollar supercomputer would be powered by Nvidia's H100 GPUs, some of the most sought-after AI chips, The Information reported. The Memphis Business Journal reported that the project could create hundreds of jobs.

"We had an ideal site, ripe for investment," Memphis Mayor Paul Young said in the statement. "And we had the power of our people who created new and innovative processes to keep up with the pace required to land this transformational project."

But the partnership isn't fully official yet, with the project pending approval by the Memphis Shelby County Economic Development Growth Engine, Tennessee Valley Authority, and governing authorities.

Still, if approved, the project would represent the largest investment in the city's history.

Ted Townsend, the president and CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber, told Business Insider that there wasn't a specific timeline yet but that xAI was moving at a "very aggressive" pace to reach its deadlines. Musk previously told xAI investors that he wanted the supercomputer online by fall 2025.

"The focus is, and it will remain, to get this thing operating," Townsend said.

The Greater Memphis Chamber became involved with the process about 90 days ago, which Townsend said was recent, considering when xAI started looking.

The Memphis Business Journal reported that the company planned to occupy a former manufacturing facility, which might be the Electrolux Memphis facility. Townsend said he couldn't confirm the location for security reasons.

Details emerged just after news broke about Musk sending Nvidia chips meant for Tesla to X instead. The billionaire — who owns X and runs Tesla, which he cofounded — responded by saying Tesla had no place to send the pricey semiconductors, so they'd have sat unused in a warehouse. Delaying the GPUs could set back Tesla's own supercomputer development.

Meanwhile, xAI announced at the end of last month that it raised $6 billion in its Series B funding round. The funding included $750 million that Musk personally invested and $250 million worth of computing power from X, The Wall Street Journal reported.

xAI didn't respond to a request for comment from BI.

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