Taiwan is a semiconductor chip powerhouse — so much so, that two industry bigwigs with roots from the island are actually family.
It has recently emerged that Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang and AMD CEO Lisa Su are first cousins once removed, with 60-year-old Huang being the older cousin.
The ties between Huang and Su are particularly interesting because Nvidia and AMD are both major US chipmakers with competing products, including in the artificial intelligence space.
Nvidia and AMD did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Insider sent outside regular business hours. An Nvidia spokesperson confirmed the familial relationship to CNN in a Saturday report, saying Su is a distant cousin of Huang’s via his mother’s side of the family.
Back in 2020, Su also confirmed their relationship at a Consumer Technology Association webinar, saying they are “distant relatives, so some complex second cousin type of thing.”
For context, Huang’s mother is a sister to Su’s grandfather, according to Jean Wu, a former Taiwanese journalist who now researches corporate families. The genealogist — a person who traces lines of family descent — published a condensed family tree on her Facebook account in June.
It’s not immediately clear how many siblings Huang’s mother — who was born in 1939 — had in total, but according to Wu’s family tree, she was the 12th child in the family and 18 years younger than Su’s father, who was the eldest sibling.
Wu also interviewed a close family member of the two while putting together the family tree, per CNN. Insider was unable to independently verify the details of the family tree.
Huang and Su migrated to different parts of the US
Despite the family relationship and their close age gap, it appears Huang and Su did not grow up together.
Born in Taipei in 1963, Huang spent a part of his childhood in Taiwan and Thailand. In 1973, Huang’s parents sent the kids to relatives in the US owing to the social unrest in the Southeast Asian country, before relocating there.
Huang’s aunt and uncle — who were recent migrants to Washington state at the time — sent Jensen and his brother to Oneida Baptist Institute in Kentucky. He attended Oregon State University.
Meanwhile, Su was born in Tainan, a southwestern city in Taiwan. She moved to the US with her parents and brother when she was two years old. She grew up in New York and studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Still, the two Taiwanese cousins’ paths converged career-wise. Both are now at the helm of two of the largest US chip companies by market capitalization.
Huang cofounded Nvidia in 1993 after working at chip companies LSI Logic and Advanced Micro Devices in a variety of roles. He saw his fortune soar thanks to the boom in generative AI this year and is now worth around $40 billion, per Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index.
Nvidia’s share price closed 3.5% higher at $450.05 apiece on Friday and is up 208% this year. Its current market cap of $1.1 trillion makes it the world’s top chip company by market cap.
AMD’s stock closed 4.1% higher at $112.25 apiece on Friday and is up 73% this year. It’s the world’s sixth-largest — and the US’ third-largest — chipmaker by value, with a market cap of $181 billion.
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