Nvidia is a U.S. technology firm specializing in the design of processors and chipsets, including graphics processing units (GPUs) for the gaming and professional markets. Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, the company was founded in 1993 by Jensen Huang who, following on from time spent as a microprocessor designer at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), has been Nvidia’s president and chief executive officer (CEO) from the outset. In their 2020 fiscal year, Nvidia’s revenue amounted to 10.92 billion U.S. dollars, with over 8.44 billion U.S. dollars generated across the Asia-Pacific region alone. Nvidia’s 2020 fiscal year also saw the firm spend 2.8 billion U.S. dollars on research and development (R&D) as it looks to strengthen its product offering.
Nvidia’s business segments
Nvidia’s business can be broken down into two reportable segments, GPUs and Tegra Processors, with both based on a single underlying graphics architecture. Nvidia’s own Tegra Processors are form of system-on-chip (SoC) combining, among other components, a GPU with an Arm-based central processing unit (CPU). Tegra Processors are being used in autonomous vehicles, robotics, and mobile devices. The GPU segment is aimed at specialized markets including the GeForce series for gamers, as well as products developed for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning activities within cloud, edge, and data center environments.
Nvidia’s specialized markets
In their 2020 fiscal year, Nvidia’s revenue from gaming amounted to 5.52 billion U.S. dollars, while revenue from data centers amounted to 2.98 billion U.S. dollars. The early stages of Nvidia’s 2021 fiscal year saw data center revenues climb as much as 80 percent year-over-year, a surge that is likely to make it as big as its gaming business by the end of the fiscal year. To support Nvidia’s growth across these key markets and more, the firm announced that it had reached an agreement with SoftBank Group Corp to purchase Arm Limited in a transaction worth 40 billion U.S. dollars. While the deal still requires formal approval, it stands to be the largest semiconductor industry acquisition in history.
Nvidia’s competitors in the GPU market include suppliers of both discrete and integrated graphics, with notable examples including Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Intel. Nvidia’s also faces competition from firms designing other accelerated computing solutions, particularly the growing number of startups specializing in AI chips, as well as larger tech firms like Alphabet, the parent company of Google, who are looking to innovate in the AI chips space through the development of their Tensor Processing Unit (TPU). Other competitors include suppliers of SoCs, products found in mobile devices and autonomous vehicles, with Broadcom, Qualcomm, and Tesla as notable examples.
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