Tech Enthusiast Weekly (Issue 257): Jensen Huang’s Nvidia Story

Original link:

Here is a record of the technology content worth sharing every week, released on Friday.

This journal is open source and contributions are welcome. There is also a “Who’s Recruiting” service, which publishes programmer recruitment information. For cooperation, please email ([email protected]).

cover picture

Zhumadian City, Henan Province rushed to harvest wheat overnight before the heavy rain, and 100 drones provided night lighting. The drone is lifted into the air with a wire, powered by a ground vehicle, and can illuminate continuously for 10 hours. ( via )

Jensen Huang’s Nvidia Story

Jensen Huang is probably the most influential Chinese in Silicon Valley.

In 1993, he and two friends founded the chip design company Nvidia (Chinese name “NVIDIA”). Small then, it is now the fifth largest technology company in the US (behind Apple, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon).

Ten years ago, if you bought Nvidia stock, you would die laughing now because it is up 105 times ! It has been the stock with the largest increase in the United States in the past ten years.

Last week, Huang Renxun suddenly appeared in Taiwan and was photographed buying snacks at the Raohe Street Night Market.

It was only later that everyone found out that he was going to attend the National Taiwan University graduation ceremony on May 27, and he was this year’s guest speaker.

I recommend this speech, the full text is available online. The original text is in English and has been translated into Chinese.

He only spoke for 20 minutes, but he solved the question in my mind: how did Nvidia make a fortune. The following is the Nvidia story I sorted out based on this speech.

Huang Renxun said, why create Nvidia? Because we are optimistic about accelerated computing.

Humans’ requirements for computing speed will definitely become higher and higher. CPUs can only do general-purpose computing, and accelerated computing requires customized special-purpose hardware. Therefore, our entrepreneurial goal is to accelerate computing hardware.

The accelerated computing hardware with the largest market demand is the graphics chip (GPU) for games, so we choose game graphics cards as our entrepreneurial products. We only do chip design and outsource all production.

In 1994, our first client was the Japanese game company SEGA, and we designed graphics cards for its game consoles.

(Image caption: Nvidia’s first product, the NV1 graphics card for SEGA game consoles.)

But the next year, Microsoft released Direct3D, a graphics interface for the Windows platform. We panicked right away because it conflicted with our design.

We finally chose to suspend the SEGA contract and develop the GPU on the Windows platform instead . It was a risky move because SEGA was our only customer and we kicked it out. Our funds can only be supported for 6 months. If we cannot produce new products within this time, we will have to go bankrupt.

Fortunately, when we were running out of money, we designed the Riva 128, which was a success. By the end of 1997, it had shipped over a million copies, and we just survived.

We have been designing graphics cards for the Windows platform for 10 years.

Although the products are very popular, there is a problem: people only use these graphics cards for gaming, and they cannot be used for other accelerated computing. Because the GPU at that time had to be used through the Windows interface, subject to the operating system, users could not directly operate the GPU, and it was difficult to use it for their own purposes.

In order to expand the use of GPU, we launched the CUDA framework in 2007, allowing users to operate the underlying interface of the GPU and customize programming to meet their own needs for accelerated computing. From then on, GPU can be used in various aspects such as scientific computing and physical simulation.

Disappointingly, the market demand has not been strong, and the cost of our advancement of CUDA has been very high. In those years, our profits were seriously dragged down and our stock price was depressed. There are also internal differences, and some people propose to abandon CUDA.

Who would have thought that the turning point of fate suddenly appeared. In 2014, it was discovered that CUDA can meet the massive calculations of AI training , and it suddenly became extremely popular. With the rapid development of AI, we have since embarked on a broad road, and the stock price has skyrocketed.

In addition to AI, we are also trying to promote accelerated computing to other emerging fields.

In 2007, the iPhone was born, and mobile phone chips became a supermarket. We started thinking about developing chips for Android phones.

However, the mobile phone chip is integrated, and the CPU, GPU, and communication chip (modem) are made together. If we want to make Android chips, we must develop communication chips. This is inconsistent with our accelerated computing direction.

We had to make a difficult decision: to abandon the mobile phone market. In order to make up for this loss, we chose to enter another market that is more suitable for us: autopilot automotive chips. The calculation of autonomous driving is very large, and the market is also very broad.

That’s it for a brief history of Nvidia. Looking back at this period of history, we can see that as long as you firmly believe that your general direction is right, you might as well stick to it. Don’t be afraid of encountering setbacks, and don’t be tempted by immediate interests. You will eventually see rewards. This is how Nvidia came .

event news

This weekend and next weekend, there are two technical activities, everyone is welcome to participate.

1. Tik Tok Android Lecture (Phase 4)

How did Douyin, a super app with 1 billion users, develop?

Since the end of last year, the weekly magazine has released several notices, and byte officials have planned a series of activities in order to promote technology brands. Douyin’s Android team wants to communicate with the community , and the main programmers take the stage one by one to introduce development practices.

Behind Douyin is a huge software project. There are many people in their team, and they also attach great importance to this event. They want to show some dry goods and don’t turn it into a general meeting, so the topic selection is very detailed, and dozens of them are arranged in one go. This speech had to be divided into six periods , one period every two months.

April is the third issue. Afterwards, they accepted the audience’s feedback and made some adjustments. This month is the fourth issue, which is more approachable and has added some general software engineering and software design content. This time, there are a total of five lectures, not only for Android programmers, but also for students interested in other fields.

  1. Douyin full source code combat : how to deal with super-large engineering complexity
  2. The evolution of the plug-in architecture : how Douyin uses the plug-in structure
  3. Virtual machine optimization practice : What is the virtual machine built into Douyin?
  4. Experience optimization practice : how to refine user experience
  5. Stability optimization and tool system construction : how to ensure the stability and reliability of the application

The event will be held on the afternoon of next Sunday (June 11). You can register for free now. Click on this link , or scan the QR code below to learn more about the event and register for an online live broadcast.

An event of this scale, where the entire large team makes a collective appearance, will probably be difficult to do again in the future. Don’t miss this opportunity to communicate with Byte engineers. Participants will also have a lottery, and a lot of exquisite gifts will be prepared on the spot.

2. Cloud Native Salon

Cloud computing is now generally done with “cloud functions”, which is the Serverless mode.

You write a function, put it in the cloud, trigger it with an HTTP request, and return its running result. This has many advantages. You don’t need to set up the backend yourself, you can scale it at will, and you save money.

However, once it is implemented in specific businesses, people often do not know how to implement Serverless . Even big companies are currently exploring.

Tomorrow (June 3rd) afternoon, Byte’s infrastructure team and the Rare Earth Nuggets community jointly organized a technical salon to discuss the practical application of Serverless.

The important thing is that the location is in Beijing Fangheng Fashion Center, which, as you know, is the work area of ​​Byte . If you want to visit Byte, you can take this opportunity to have a look. Of course, you can also choose to participate online.

  1. ByteDance’s Serverless Worker, by Dead Moon (ByteDance Node.js Team)
  2. Implementation of Serverless Computing, by Wu Guiyong (Byte Volcano Engine)
  3. Using Serverless to Improve Resource Utilization, by Wu Tianlong (Alibaba Cloud)
  4. Scenarios and applications of Serverless for ByteDance incentive business, by Li Jiacheng (Byte R&D)

Those who communicate with you are the first-line engineers of Byte and Ali. Students who participated in the offline conference also had on-site lucky draws for fascia guns, AI speakers, and Nuggets souvenirs.

You can click this link , or scan the QR code of the picture above to learn more about the event, and choose to register offline or online.

Technology dynamics

1. Mobile hard disk with display

American netizens made a very creative mobile hard disk.

Its casing mimics a traditional 3.5-inch floppy disk, but it has a color touchscreen to see exactly what files are inside.

Most programmers have a bunch of mobile hard drives and U disks at home. Figuring out what files are inside requires plugging them into a computer, which is a hassle. This device solves this problem.

2. Holographic Circus

A German circus staged a 3D holographic circus show that didn’t use real animals at all.

There are a total of 11 projectors at the performance site, which are distributed in different directions, and the audience is equivalent to watching a 360-degree video.

The circus said that this would help protect the animals and not have to train them in captivity for entertainment and money. Plus, audiences were able to see spectacle that wasn’t possible to perform before, like giant goldfish swimming through the air.

If the effect is good, future live performances may be this kind of holographic video, not only circus performances, but also concerts.

3. 3D printed basketball

Well-known basketball brand Wilson has developed a 3D printed basketball.

This kind of basketball is printed, the interior is hollow, the surface is covered with mesh, and it is made of elastic polymer materials. The biggest advantage is that it does not need to be inflated.

Traditional basketballs must be inflated, and the air pressure is too high or too low, which will affect the feel. 3D printed basketballs do not have this problem. The size, weight, and elasticity are all close to traditional basketballs. The current problem is that they are not durable enough.

4. Travel around the world in seven days

An American man achieved the feat of “Visiting the Seven Wonders of the World in Seven Days”.

In seven days (6 days, 16 hours and 14 minutes), he personally visited the following seven locations.

  • the Great Wall
  • india taj mahal
  • Petra Ancient City, Jordan
  • Colosseum in Rome, Italy
  • Statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Machu Picchu, Peru
  • Chichen Itza, Mexico

Due to the tight schedule, he had to rush to the airport immediately after checking in at each scenic spot, and take the nearest flight to leave. During these seven days, he ate and slept on the plane, and only ate at McDonald’s in Rome.

This event is sponsored by a travel agency. The travel agency said that if you are willing to pay 38,000 US dollars, it can also arrange a package of the Seven Wonders of the World for you, of course, the time will be longer than seven days.


1. Meta’s personal experience of layoffs (Chinese)

Meta Company has laid off more than 10,000 employees in total. A person who witnessed the process and feelings of being laid off has many details.

2. I use GPT to bring goods to the electronics factory (Chinese)

The author introduces how he uses ChatGPT to mass-produce marketing articles and videos.

3. Increasingly large graphics cards (Chinese)

MSI has launched a prototype graphics card, which claims to be a design for the next-generation RTX 5090 graphics card, with an unprecedented 4.2 slots.

The inside is mainly copper sheets for heat dissipation, which cannot be accommodated in a general chassis. It is hard to imagine what the future gaming computer will look like if this development continues.

4. Deno supports npm packaging (English)

Deno version 1.34 introduces a new function, which can package Node.js program and npm module into a binary file, supporting all Windows/Mac/Linux platforms.

5. Introduction to popover API (English)

The pop-up layer of a web page is a very common UI pattern. Chrome officially launched the popover API, and the browser has built-in pop-up layer components.

6. How to make a GitHub personal homepage (English)

This article demonstrates how a GitHub profile can be customized and, using scripts, updated periodically through GitHub Actions.

7. Google AI memo (English)

The article is said to have been leaked internally at Google, a memo written by a researcher to executives, and it looks authentic.

He analyzed the current development of AI, proposed Google’s response strategy, and suggested increasing open source efforts.


1. Csv2ImageApp

This open source tool converts CSV files into images.


A Python desktop program that provides a graphical interface for Meta’s AI model SAM , which can extract objects in photos.

3. Git-Sim

A command-line tool that can generate a picture or animation showing the effect of a certain Git command on the current repository.

4. Read Something

An open source Chrome plug-in that can turn webpages into reading mode, and has built-in functions such as AI summary, translation, and Mardown conversion. (Contributed by @zhongyiio )

5. MIB

An open source Windows desktop application that backs up Android phones to desktop computers and supports incremental backups. (Contributed by @QC2168 )

6. Rubic

A responsive applet development framework, using the same programming model as Vue3. (Contributed by @JasKang )

7. SQLucky

An open source database visualization operation tool, based on Java, used to replace similar paid software. (Contributed by @tenie )

8. flutter_chatgpt

An open source ChatGPT chat client, based on Flutter, supports all mobile and desktop platforms. (Contributed by @bravekingzhang )

9. IceCubes App

The iOS client of the open source social media Mastodon has many functions and is still under development.

10. Juice Shop

A web application used for security training, which contains the 10 most commonly used security holes for practitioners to crack.


1. Fluent 2

Microsoft released Fluent 2, a new design style, not only for Windows, but also provides components for Web and iOS.

2. Computer major learning route

It is said that the webmaster is a Peking University student, and he compiled a computer major learning route by referring to the computer training programs of famous American schools. (Contributed by @Stein283036 )

3. Docker and Kubernetes Complete Development Guide

Udemy video course, moved to Bilibili, with Chinese subtitles. Learn Docker and Kubernetes step-by-step through the Node.js project. (Contributed by @lyf61 )

4. Implement a database from scratch

An English e-book that introduces database principles, the first half of which can be read for free. The author also wrote another book “Realizing Redis by Yourself” .

5. LLM University

Free tutorial site introducing LLM (Large-Scale Language Modeling).


1. Florida Beaches

An American photographer has taken stunning shots of the crowds and umbrellas on a popular Florida beach.


1. Why is hardware difficult to make

A year ago, we received a report from a customer that the industrial robots we produced had inexplicable failures.

We took back the faulty robot, and the hardware and software teams did various analysis, but it was always impossible to reproduce the fault encountered by the user.

We guessed that the cause was probably a loose coupler preventing the motor from turning the wheels.

So, we redesigned the coupler. However, the products are all in the hands of users, and it is difficult to recycle them one by one for replacement. So we figured out another way to let the user do it himself, turn on the robot, and retighten the coupler.

According to user feedback, this method has worked, and the robot has not malfunctioned again.

For the next year, nothing happened.

Just when we forgot about it, the customer reported it again last month and the glitch reappeared.

We think this must not be the original fault, it must be caused by other reasons. We took the robot back, switched it on and off hundreds of times in the company, and just like a year ago, we couldn’t reproduce the failure that the user encountered.

Later, someone had a whim and put the robot in the refrigerator. We took it out the next morning and miraculously, the glitch was there. Ten minutes later, the fault disappeared again at room temperature. So we understand that it has something to do with temperature.

In order to thoroughly understand the problem, the company’s lunch refrigerator was filled with robots.

Ultimately, we determined that there was a component that, at a certain temperature, was producing a noisy signal that was causing the failure. Just removing the two resistors fixed it. This time it was really completely repaired.

It turned out that last year’s failure was also the reason. At that time, we asked the customer to disassemble the machine and re-tighten the coupler, which caused the temperature inside the machine to rise, so the fault disappeared. In fact this fault has nothing to do with the coupler at all.

In addition, the winter passed and the weather got warmer, so the fault never appeared again. When winter came again, the glitch reappeared.

Our robots are very simple, with only hundreds of parts, but each part may find unpredictable and hard-to-find failures, which is why the hardware is very difficult to do.



No more The Godfather, no more The Wizard of Oz, just 15 seconds of human stupidity.

—A Hollywood screenwriter , talking about how he sees TikTok


The fastest path to financial success is to work for four years each at three different soon-to-be-listed companies before retiring at forty.

“A Forty-Year Career”


I recommend buying a copy of The 7 Habits of Successful People, but instead of reading it, burn it as a symbolic gesture of renouncing this type of success.

Linus Torvalds , creator of Linux


I want to turn off the short video (Shorts) function of Youtube, click the “delete” button, and it shows “this function will be hidden for 30 days”.

I felt like I was slapped in the face by some Google product manager looking for a promotion who told me he understood my needs better than I did.

Hacker News netizen

this week in history

Why Software Gets Complex (2022 #210)

The Dilemma of the Middle-Aged Coder (2021 #160)

If not listed in the US (2020 #110)

A Scholarly Autobiography Introducing Human Origins (2019 #60)

thank you

The Weekly is deeply grateful for the help of FlowUs , a new generation of knowledge management and collaboration platform in China.

FlowUS = document + form + network disk. You can use it to write documents, make a home page, manage data, store files, and more.

Each issue of the weekly magazine is published in the FlowUs column at the same time. You are welcome to open your own column and homepage.


document information

  • Copyright Notice: Free Reprint-Non-Commercial-Non-Derivative-Attribution ( Creative Commons 3.0 License )
  • Date of publication: June 2, 2023

This article is transferred from:
This site is only for collection, and the copyright belongs to the original author.