Who Actually Invented Nvidia and When?

NVIDIA corporate office HQ

Who Actually Invented Nvidia and When?

Nvidia is one of the most popular names being thrown around in finance these days, but most people don’t actually know much about the company itself! This $300 billion-plus market cap company is considered a building block of the future, and they don’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

Today, we are going to learn a bit about its past and discover who actually invented Nvidia and when.

Let’s get started!

The Founding of Nvidia

Nividia is a tech company with wide-reaching products and services in the computer hardware, software, and cloud computing industries. It was founded in 1993 by Jensen Huang, Curtis Priem, and Chris Malachowsky.

Nvidia has a story that follows the well-trodden path that many now-successful companies began with: the founders saw a future in technology that other people didn’t have the vision for quite yet. In the case of Nvidia, that technology was graphic processing units, otherwise known as GPUs.

In 1993, Huang, Priem, and Malachaowsky were all working at different microprocessing companies but understood that the next wave in computing was going to be led by GPUs, a newer alternative to the general-purpose computing that was already being used. In the same year, the three founders left their respective companies and started their own microprocessing design company. Their goal was to design and usher in the next generation of computing, with an emphasis on accelerated and graphical computing.

In the early stages of the company, there was no official name. The name later came in 1999 when the company decided to incorporate and needed something written down. They had been writing “NV” on their software, which stood for “next version.” As they were looking through their software, the connection to the word “invidia” was seen, a Latin word that means envy. Thus, Nvidia was born.

The Founders of Nvidia

Each of the three Nvidia founders had a similar background before starting the company together.

Jensen Huang was previously the director of CoreWare at LSI Logic and later transitioned to Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) as a microprocessor designer before finally leaving to start Nvidia. Currently, Nvidia’s biggest competitor is AMD.

Huang is one of the two remaining founders still working at the company and is the sitting CEO and public face of the company. Huang has become one of the more famous tech CEOs in the United States and is one of the richest people in the U.S.

Chris Malachowsky is an electrical engineer who worked at Sun Microsystems, a now-defunct company that created computer parts and software until its acquisition by Oracle in 2010. Malachowsky is still listed as the Senior Vice President for Engineering and Operations at Nvidia.

Curtis Priem is a computer scientist that operated as a senior engineer for graphics chips at Sun Microsystems. He operated as the Chief Technical Officer from 1993 until 2003, at which point he retired.

From Gaming to Machine Learning

NVIDIA pioneered accelerated computing to tackle challenges no one else can solve. Our work in AI and the metaverse is transforming the world’s largest industries and profoundly impacting society.

Nvidia – About
Powerful Nvidia GPUs

Nvidia is the brainchild of three engineers/designers that specialized in computer chips.

Understanding how Nvidia reached its current heights is an interesting story and one that begins with video games.

When the founding trio began the company, the push for more specialized processing units wasn’t quite in demand. General processing units, like CPUs, were plenty fine for most people, and a secondary (and more specialized) processing unit wasn’t something that most people cared about.

Still, led by Huang, the founders of Nvidia realized that specialized computing would eventually be paramount in the continued development of computing technology. Until the “future of computing” needed processors, they would need to find a different market to raise money and fund the R&D department: gamers.

From the late 90s into the present, gaming has grown in popularity immensely. As games evolved, there arose a need for a specialized processing unit that could help handle the graphics load while the CPU ran other, more generalized processes.

Enter: Nvidia and AMD. For these companies, selling specialized GPUs to gamers would provide the needed cash to begin scaling the business in the specialized processing department.

For Nvidia, selling graphics cards to gamers would eventually become their flywheel — the momentum gainer that would keep the company going — and fund the research and development that they needed to become the top specialized microchip design company in the world. Through programs like RTX and GeForce, Nvidia brought in billions of dollars and developed some of the leading chips to power the future.

What kind of future? Despite starting in gaming, Nvidia has now reached the stage where they are able to make the chips for a world they hoped to usher in back in the 90s. Now, Nivida creates chips for cloud computing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, supercomputing, autonomous driving, crypto mining, and more.

Wrapping Up

Nvidia is a company that was originally founded by three engineers from two different microprocessor companies. The three founders, Jensen Huang, Curtis Priem, and Chris Malachowsky, started the company in 1993 and incorporated it in 1999.

With a vision of providing microprocessors for the needs of the future world, Nvidia began raising funds via the only monetizable option when they were founded: gaming.

Since then, they have expanded and now create powerful chips that enable things like artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomous driving, and deep learning. As it stands, Nvidia is one of the most valuable companies in the world and will likely continue to produce some of the most powerful and efficient microprocessors in the marketplace.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Nvidia do?

Nvidia is a “fabless” computer chip company that designs but doesn’t produce graphics cards and other microprocessors.

When was Nvidia founded?

Nvidia was founded in July 1993.

Who founded Nvidia?

Nvidia was founded by Jensen Huang, Curtis Priem, and Chris Malachowsky.

Who is the CEO of Nvidia?

Jensen Huang is the CEO of Nvidia and is one of the original founders of the company.

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