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Nvidia to further expand R&D operations in Israel, hire 1,000 engineers

Chip giant’s R&D activities in Israel are already the firm’s largest outside the US; company currently employs about 3,000 people across 7 centers nationwide

Ricky Ben-David is The Times of Israel’s Tech Israel editor and reporter.

Nvidia's headquarters in Santa Clara, California (Courtesy)
Nvidia's headquarters in Santa Clara, California (Courtesy)

US gaming and computer graphics giant Nvidia announced Tuesday that it would be further expanding its operations in Israel, and was set to hire 1,000 engineers to join the existing team of about 3,000 working across the company’s R&D centers nationwide.

The new hires will support Nvidia’s R&D products and services being developed in Israel, including high-speed networking and HPC (high-performance computing) technologies, DPU (data processing units) design, artificial intelligence research, and software architecture.

Nvidia in 2020 acquired Israel’s Mellanox Technologies Ltd., a maker of high-speed servers and storage switching solutions used in supercomputers globally, for a massive $7 billion, adding about 1,000 employees to its Israel operations.

Earlier this year, Nvidia also established a a new design and engineering group in Israel that is leading the development of next-generation CPUs (central processing units) geared toward artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous vehicles, and Nvidia’s new platform Omniverse, which allows for virtual world simulations.

The additional expansion, Nvidia said Tuesday, will include 1,000 new hires by the end of the year for positions in hardware, software, architecture, and other engineering roles.

Nvidia’s R&D activities in Israel are already the firm’s largest outside of the US. The firm employs some 3,000 workers in seven R&D centers, from Yokne’am, the HQ of Mellanox, to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Ra’anana, and Beersheba in the south.

Nvidia employees in Israel. (Courtesy)

In November, the company unveiled a range of new partnerships and products, some developed in Israel, further highlighting the country’s growing role in the organization.

“The continued expansion of our R&D center here demonstrates Nvidia’s confidence in the wealth of talent in Israel,” said Gideon Rosenberg, VP of Human Resources at Nvidia Israel, in a statement. “We are recruiting a broad range of technical staff who will play an important role in working with our global team to develop groundbreaking products and solutions.”

Alongside its R&D operations, Nvidia also runs the Nvidia Inception Program for Startups, an accelerator that works with hundreds of early-stage companies, including 350 Israeli startups, and the Nvidia Developer Program, which allows free access to Nvidia’s offerings for developers.

An Nvidia building in Israel. (Nvidia)

The US firm, founded in 1993 by Jensen Huang, Chris Malachowsky and Curtis Priem as a graphics chip company, inventing the graphics processing unit (GPU), is today a leader in the field of artificial intelligence.

Nvidia has a market cap of about $465 billion (as of May 2022), compared to $181.14 billion (also as of May 2022) for competitor Intel Corp., and has replaced the latter as the largest US chipmaker, and the second largest in the world, after Taiwan’s TSMC.

Jensen Huang, CEO and co-founder of US chip maker Nvidia. (Courtesy)

Intel took a step toward bolstering its semiconductor capabilities earlier this year with the intended acquisition of Israel’s Tower Semiconductor, for $5.4 billion. The Israeli company manufactures analog semiconductor chips for the consumer, industrial, automotive, mobile, infrastructure, medical, aerospace, and defense sectors.

Both Nvidia and Intel have R&D centers in Israel and compete for the same pool of talent. This competition is set to become even stiffer, as Google enters the fray. The US search engine giant said last year that it was setting up a chip-making team led by a former Intel Israel executive.

Nvidia has been active in Israel for the past decade, by selling its processors locally; buying stakes in startups like Zebra Medical (acquired by Nanox), Deep Instinct, and Rocketrick; and setting up its R&D units.

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