A racier side to Nvidia CEO Huang

October 1, 2009

 Nvidia’s top executive isn’t your typical geek.  He likes fast computers, but he loves fast cars.

Jen-Hsun Huang , proud owner of no less than three barely street-legal supercars – red and grey Ferraris and a jet black Koenigsegg CCX — was on the brink of adding yet more horsepower to his stable after watching RTT demonstrate a Ferrari-customization program — running off Nvidia’s graphic chips, of course — onstage on Wednesday.

The unabashed racing car-lover joked that he had been enthralled by a Ferrari 458 Italia that popped up on screen during a demonstration by RTT chief executive Ludwig Fuchs. Fuchs, sharing the stage with Huang, demonstrated how Nvidia chips power his company’s customization platform, which allows would-be racers to configure a Ferrari to taste – color, interior, tires, the works – right on the showroom floor.

“Black with red stripes, please,” Huang quipped as the demo flipped between red, yellow and grey Ferraris.

Huang later said he would have ordered the newest V8 Maranello monster on the spot if Fuchs had been taking orders.

“If they were willing to take an order, I would have taken it,” he said. “Oh yeah, I’ve got to get the 458. Isn’t that a beautiful car? It’s exquisite. It’s got to be awesome.”

One of the markets Nvidia is targeting for high-end graphics rendering is car makers, who rely on graphics hardware and software to create images of their vehicles during development and  advertising.

“One of the best things about our jobs — one of the best things about my job — is the eye candy you get after a billion dollar investment,” Huang said, before launching into several car-related demos.

Huang said the company spends roughly $1 billion in R&D each year.

(Reporting by Clare Baldwin and Ian Sherr)

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Upon first glance, I initially perceived the “racier” bit of the title to indicate that Jensen was coming off as a racist. Other than that mixup, great story my friend. We need an occasional display of interests outside of the IT industry from its executive faculty once in a while.

Posted by Jonathan Worrel | Report as abusive