Jensen huang is a man literally schooled in adversity. When the co-founder of Nvidia, America’s most valuable semiconductor company, was first sent to boarding school in Kentucky, little did his Taiwanese relatives realise that it was a school for troubled youths. He shared a room with a knife-scarred boy fresh out of prison. On some days he would either be picked upon or forced to clean the toilets. Far from buckling under the strain, he has said he learned to tolerate discomfort. That is a useful skill in the highly cyclical world of silicon chips.
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Once again, the industry is in meltdown. In the tail end of the covid-19 pandemic in late 2021, when almost no one—from car companies to cryptocurrency miners—could get their hands on chips, semiconductor manufacturers, or fabs, went on a spending spree….