In explaining its decision, computer scientist Andrew Ng said that Huang was at the forefront of AI and creating the hardware which enables it.
Huang founded Nvidia in 1993 and has served as CEO since its inception. But the rapid innovations in 3D hardware for gaming were a big part of why it became the world’s most extensive entertainment industry.
More recently, Nvidia tapped the parallel processing for its graphics processing units (GPUs) to do non-graphics compute tasks. That turned into a massive application in AI, where Nvidia’s chips are becoming the brains of computers, robots, and self-driving cars.
In the over 25 years since the company’s first chip, scene complexity in computer graphics has increased around 500 million times, Huang said.
Moore’s Law, which predicts chip performance will double every couple of years, would have increased only 100,000 times in the same period if unaided by better chip design.
Under Huang's watch, Nvidia is now worth $555 billion on the stock market and employs 20,000 people. Much of that growth came as Nvidia saw huge success in AI.
“Huang’s gamble paid off largely because he is among the world’s most technically savvy CEOs”, wrote Ng. “He’s also a compassionate steward of his employees and a generous supporter of education in science and technology. With still emerging AI technologies creating an insatiable hunger for more computation, Huang’s team is well-positioned to keep driving technological advances for decades to come.”