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Jensen Huang’s Nvidia is the AI chip company to watch

Huang is No. 29 on the Recode 100.

Once the stuff for hardcore gamers and graphics producers, Nvidia’s graphics processing units — GPUs — now power a swath of complex, increasingly common computational tasks, from artificial intelligence to bitcoin mining to self-driving cars.

That’s been the strategy all along, Huang told Fortune, which named him 2017’s businessperson of the year. “Video games was our killer app — a flywheel to reach large markets funding huge R&D to solve massive computational problems.”

More than two decades in, Nvidia is in its prime. In its fiscal third quarter, which ended in October, Nvidia’s sales grew 32 percent year over year to $2.6 billion, with profit growing 55 percent. Shares more than doubled this year, reaching an all-time high in November. They have since settled, but still give the company a market capitalization of roughly $100 billion in early December.

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