Insider reveals: NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang nearly sold NVIDIA to AMD in the 2000s

A former AMD staffer has said how the company almost purchsaed NVIDIA back in the 2000s, but Jensen Huang wanted to stay on as CEO of NVIDIA.

1 minute & 50 seconds read time

Did you know that AMD thought about buying NVIDIA back in the 2000s? Years, decades before NVIDIA's outright domination of the GPU market, and putting an iron-clad grip around the AI chip industry.

In a series of posts on X that were super-interesting to read, former AMD staffer Hemant Mohapatra went into great lengths explaining it all. As a technology enthusiast from the 90s, reading through all of this was pure joy, after all, my name is 'anthony256' from NVIDIA's world-first GPU -- the GeForce 256 -- but can you imagine if NVIDIA was sold to AMD? Oh boy.

One of the major reasons why the deal didn't happen, is because NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang wanted to stay on as CEO, and that couldn't happen. Mohapatra explained on X: "So now that NVIDIA has far outstripped the market cap of AMD and Intel, I thought this would be a fun story to tell. I spent 6+yrs @ AMD engg in mid to late 2000s helping design the CPU/APU/GPUs that we see today. Back then it was unimaginable for AMD to beat Intel in market-cap (we did in 2020!) and for NVIDIA to beat both!

"In fact, AMD almost bought NVIDIA but Jensen wasn't ready to sell unless he replace Hector Ruiz of AMD as the CEO of the joint company. The world would have looked very different had that happened. Here's the inside scoop of how & why AMD saw the GPU oppty, lost it, and then won it back in the backdrop of NVIDIA's far more insane trajectory, & lessons I still carry from those heady days".

He continued: "But clearly, someone at AMD saw the future. We just saw it partially. We should have acquired NVIDIA - and we tried. NVIDIA - for those who remember - was mostly a "niche" CPU for hardcore gamers and they went hard on CUDA and AMD was a big believer in OpenGL. Developers preferred OpenGL vs CUDA given the lock-in with the latter. Jensen clearly thought very long term and was building his "Apple'' strategy of both HW and SW lock-in. He refused to sell unless he was made the joint-company's CEO to align with this strategy. AMD blinked and our future trajectories splintered forever".

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Anthony joined the TweakTown team in 2010 and has since reviewed 100s of graphics cards. Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games built around consoles. FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU tech is unwavering and has recently taken a keen interest in artificial intelligence (AI) hardware.

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