NVIDIA, Huang Win Top Honors in Innovation, Engineering

NVIDIA named world’s most innovative company by Fast Company magazine; founder and CEO Jensen Huang elected to U.S. National Academy of Engineering.
by Rick Merritt

NVIDIA today was named the world’s most innovative company by Fast Company magazine.

The accolade comes on the heels of company founder and CEO Jensen Huang being inducted into the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.

A team of several dozen journalists at Fast Company — a business media brand launched in 1995 by two Harvard Business Review editors — ranked NVIDIA the leader in its 2024 list of the world’s 50 most innovative companies.

“Putting AI to Work”

“Nvidia isn’t just in the business of providing ever-more-powerful computing hardware and letting everybody else figure out what to do with it,” Fast Company wrote in an article detailing its selection.

“Across an array of industries, the company’s technologies, platforms, and partnerships are doing much of the heavy lifting of putting AI to work,” citing advances in automotive, drug discovery, gaming and retail announced in one recent week.

The article noted the central role of the CUDA compute platform. It also shared an eye-popping experience using NVIDIA Omniverse to interact with a digital twin of a Nissan Z sport coupe.

In a League With Giants

“Even for AI’s titans, building on what Nvidia has created — the more ambitiously, the better — is often how progress happens,” the article concluded.

Last year, OpenAI led the list for ChatGPT, the large language model that started a groundswell in generative AI. In 2021, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech topped the ranking for rapidly developing a Covid vaccine.

Fast Company bases its ranking on four criteria: innovation, impact, timeliness and relevance. Launched in 2008, the annual list recognizes organizations that have introduced groundbreaking products, fostered positive social impact and reshaped industries.

NVIDIA invented the GPU in 1999, redefining computer graphics and igniting the era of modern AI. NVIDIA is now driving the platform shift to accelerated computing and generative AI, transforming the world’s largest industries.

Fueling an AI Revolution

Last month, Huang was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for contributions in “high-powered graphics processing units, fueling the artificial intelligence revolution.”

Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions such as pioneering new fields of technology. Founded in 1964, the NAE provides a trusted source of engineering advice for creating a healthier, more secure and sustainable world.

“Jensen Huang’s induction into the National Academy of Engineering is a testament to his enduring contributions to our industry and world,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and CEO of Microsoft.

“His visionary leadership has forever transformed computing, from the broad adoption of advanced 3D graphics to today’s GPUs — and, more importantly, has driven foundational innovations across every sector, from gaming and productivity, to digital biology and healthcare. All of us at Microsoft congratulate Jensen on this distinction, and we are honored to partner with him and the entire NVIDIA team on defining this new era of AI,” he added.

“Jensen’s election is incredibly well deserved,” said John Hennessy, president emeritus of Stanford University and an NAE member since 1992.

“His election recognizes both his transformative technical contributions, as well as his incredible leadership of NVIDIA for almost 30 years. I have seen many NAE nominations over the past 30 years, Jensen’s was one of the best!”

Morris Chang, founder of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and an NAE member since 2002, added his congratulations.

“Jensen is one of the most visionary engineers and charismatic business leaders I have had the pleasure to work with in the last three decades,” he said.

Huang is also a recipient of the Semiconductor Industry Association’s highest honor, the Robert N. Noyce Award, as well as honorary doctorate degrees from Taiwan’s National Chiao Tung University, National Taiwan University and Oregon State University.