What is Nvidia and how does it work? The revolutionary technology company

Nvidia company

Nvidia Corporation is an American multinational technology company that is headquartered in Delaware and based in Santa Clara California. The company designs graphics processing units (GPUs) for the gaming and professional markets, as well as chip system units for mobile computing and the automotive market. Its primary line of GPUs, dubbed “GeForce,” is in direct competition with Advanced Micro Devices’ (AMD) Radeon line of GPUs.

Nvidia has expanded its presence in the gaming industry with its portable gaming console shields, Shield Table products, and Shield Android TV system, as well as its GeForce Now cloud gaming service. Its professional line of GPUs is used in workstation applications in fields such as architecture, engineering, construction, media, entertainment, automotive, scientific research, and manufacturing design.

In addition to the manufacture of GPUs, Nvidia provides an application programming interface called CUDA, which allows the mass creation of parallel programs, which use GPUs. These programs are deployed at supercomputing sites around the world. More recently, the company has entered the mobile computing market, where it produces mobile Tegra processors for smartphones and tablets, as well as car navigation and entertainment systems. In addition to AMD, NVIDIA’s other competitors are Intel and Qualcomm.

In 2020, Nvidia announced plans to acquire Arm Ltd., a company owned by SoftBank Group, although such an acquisition was pending regulatory approval. Arm Ltd. was valued at the time of the announcement at $40 billion in shares and net assets, making the transaction, if approved, the largest acquisition in the semiconductor industry. SoftBank would acquire slightly less than 10% equity stake in Nvidia, and Arm Ltd. would retain its headquarters in Cambridge.

Nvidia history

Nvidia was founded on April 5, 1993, by Jensen Huang (who has also been the company’s CEO), Huang is a Taiwanese and US citizen, and had previously been the director of CoreWare at LSI Logic. The company was also co-founded by electrical engineer Chris Malachowsky, who worked as a microprocessor designer at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), along with Curtis Priem, a senior engineer who had worked as a graphics chip designer at Sun Microsystems.

Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia.

In 1993, the three co-founders believed that the right direction for the next wave in the computer revolution was founded on graphics-based computing because it could solve problems that general-purpose computers couldn’t. They also noted that video games were simultaneously one of the most difficult fields of work, but could also have a high level of sales. Video games became the company’s steering wheel and the basic tool to reach large markets. Over time, the founding group focused on properly funding the company’s research and development to solve massive computational problems.

With only $40,000 in the bank, the company was starting to get operational. Shortly thereafter, the company received $20 million in venture capital from Sequoia Capital and other angel investors who believed in the project. Nvidia initially did not have a marketing name and the co-founders called all their files NV, after the initials for Next Version. The need to incorporate the company in the capital markets prompted the founders to review all the words that resonated with those two letters, leading them to invidia, the Latin word for envy. Nvidia became a public company, hitting the stock markets on January 22, 1999.

Projects and acquisitions

The release of the RIVA TNT processing card in 1998 solidified Nvidia’s reputation for its ability to design graphics adapters. In late 1999, Nvidia released the GeForce 256 (NV10) most notably introducing a high-speed graphics card for public consumption. Running at 120 MHz and improving visual projection, it implemented advanced video acceleration, motion compensation, and other additional features that dramatically improved the user experience. The GeForce card turned out to be much better than existing products by a wide margin.

Due to the success of its products, Nvidia won the contract to develop the graphics hardware for Microsoft’s Xbox game console, with which Nvidia obtained $200 million in advance for product development. However, the development of the project took Nvidia to use its best engineers, which were left out of other projects that the company considered profitable at the time. In the short term, this did not matter much, and the GeForce2 GTS graphics card hit the market in the summer of 2000. In December 2000, Nvidia reached an agreement to acquire the intellectual rights of the company that was once its rival in the design of 3d graphics cards, the company 3dfx. The acquisition process ended in April 2002.

The financial crisis of 2000 and 2001

The company was not exempt from the financial crisis of the 2000s, after the bursting of the dotcom bubble and the crisis caused by the attacks of September 11, 2001. On September 8, 2000, Nvidia’s stock was trading at 12 dollars and 25 cents, but by September 28, 2001, the stock was trading at 6 dollars and 25 cents, thus registering a loss in its value of more than 40 percent.

Developments and consolidation during the 2000s

In July 2002, Nvidia acquired Exluna for an undisclosed sum. Exluna was involved in the development of software tools and the company’s team joined Nvidia’s Cg Project. In August 2003, Nvidia acquired MediaQ for approximately $70 million. In April 2004, Nvidia acquired iReady. In December 2004, it was announced that Nvidia would be assisting Sony with the design of a graphics processor (XSR) in the PlayStation 3 game console.

In December 2005, Nvidia acquired ULI Electronics, a company that was at the same time supplying chipsets for ATI, an Nvidia competitor. In March 2006, Nvidia acquired the Hybrid Graphics company. By December 2006, along with their main rival in the graphics industry, AMD, which had already acquired ATI on that date, they were summoned by the United States Department of Justice to answer for alleged violations of antitrust law. in the graphics card industry.

AMD is Nvidia’s main competitor.

Forbes named Nvidia the company of the year in 2007, citing the achievements the company had made that same year as well as in previous years. By January 5, 2007, Nvidia announced that it had completed the acquisition of PortalPlayer Inc. And in February 2008, Nvidia acquired Ageia, developer of PhysX software and the PPU processing unit. Nvidia also announced that it planned to integrate PhysX technology into its future GPU products.

In November 2001, after revealing its Tegra 3 ARM mobile device chipset at Mobile World Congress, Nvidia claimed that the chip was integrated into a quad-core mobile unit for the first time. In May 2011, it was announced that Nvidia had agreed to acquire Icera, a UK chip manufacturing company for $367 million. In January 2013, Nvidia revealed its Tegra 4 processing system, as well as the Nvidia Shield, an Android-based handheld game console powered by the new Tegra 4 single-chip system. By July 2013, Nvidia announced that it had acquired the company. PGI from STMicroelectronics.

Since 2014, Nvidia has diversified its business operations, focusing on three main markets: Gaming, Automotive Electronics, and Mobile Devices.

In May 2016, Nvidia revealed its first GeForce 10 series GPUs, in GTX 1080 and 1070 versions, based on the company’s new Pascal microarchitecture. Nvidia claimed that both models outperformed its previous Titan X model; these models incorporated GDDR5X and GDDR5 memories respectively. The architecture of these models also supports the new hardware feature known as simultaneous multi-projection, SMP, which is designed to improve the display of multi-monitor and virtual reality graphics. Laptops that include these GPUs and are thin enough, such as in late 2017, and no more than 0.8 inches thick, have been designed to meet Nvidia’s Max Q design requirements.

In July 2016, Nvidia settled a misleading advertising lawsuit regarding its GTX 970 model, as the models were unable to use all of their advertised 4GB of RAM due to limitations arising from their design. hardware. In May 2017, Nvidia announced a partnership with Toyota, which would use Nvidia’s Drive PX series artificial intelligence platform for its self-driving vehicles. In July 2017, Nvidia and Chinese web search giant Baidu announced a broad AI partnership that included cloud computing, autonomous vehicles, consumer devices, and Baidu PaddlePaddle’s freely accessible AI framework.

Come 2019, Nvidia announced an agreement to buy Mellanox Technologies for $6.9 million and to substantially increase its footprint in the high-performance computing market. In this sense, the company has continued to consolidate itself in new sectors and expects to remain at the forefront in terms of technological and research capabilities. These movements subsequently led to a very strong increase in the value of its shares in the year 2020.

Nvidia has since continued to dabble in developing new products like its new RTX Studio laptops. Its creators have said that the new laptop will be seven times faster than the highest-performance MacBook Pro, including Core i9 and Radeon Pro Vega 20 graphics card. For the month of August 2019, Nvidia announced Minecraft RTX, an official company-developed patch for the popular Minecraft game, adding powerful new features to the Windows 10 version of the game. The game as a whole has been, in Nvidia’s words, completely redesigned.

During the Covid19 pandemic

In May 2020, Nvidia scientists developed an open-source hospital ventilator in order to address the global shortage of ventilators resulting from the global coronavirus pandemic. In May 2020 as well, Nvidia officially announced its Ampere GPU microarchitecture, and the Nvidia A100 GPU accelerator. Later in June 2020, it was reported that Nvidia was in talks with SoftBank to buy Arm, a UK-based chip designer for an estimated $32 billion.

The Ampere microarchitecture has enabled it to make key updates to its flagship products such as the GeForce 30 series, which was officially announced in September 2020.

The most powerful computer in the world

In October 2020, Nvidia announced that it was planning to build the most powerful computer to date in Cambridge, England. The computer has initially been named Cambridge 1, and will use artificial intelligence to support healthcare research, and was estimated to be completed by the end of 2020 at a cost of approximately $40 million. According to Jensen Huang, Cambridge 11 will serve as a hub for innovation in the UK, and beyond, for grassroots research work carried out by the nation’s researchers in essential and critical drug discovery, as well as in substantial improvements to the health system.

Also, in October 2020, around the time of the Nvidia TRX A6000 launch, Nvidia announced that it was retiring its Quadro GPU workstation branding, changing the product name to Nvidia RTX for future product updates, and that product manufacturing would be based on Nvidia’s Ampere architecture.

Significant company deals and legal issues over the past decade.

In July 2008, Nvidia lost approximately $200 million of its first-quarter revenue after reporting that certain mobile device chips and GPUs produced by the company had abnormal failure rates due to manufacturing defects. Nvidia, however, did not reveal the total amount of products affected by this problem.

During the month of September 2008, Nvidia was the subject of a lawsuit over defects in its graphics cards, the claim stated that defective GPUs had been incorporated into certain models manufactured by Apple Inc. Dell and HP. By September 2010, Nvidia reached an agreement, in which it would reimburse the owners of the affected computers, repairs, or in some cases, replacements.

In January 2011, Nvidia entered into a $1.5 billion cross-licensing settlement agreement with Intel, ending all litigation between the two companies.

The GeForce Partner Program

The GeForce Partner Program was a marketing program designed to provide partnerships to companies, with benefits such as public relations support, game building, and marketing development funds. The program proved to be controversial, with complaints about the possibility of being an anti-competitive practice.

This show was initially announced on March 1, 2018, but was canceled a short time later in May 2018.

Nvidia Finance

For the fiscal year 2020, Nvidia reported earnings of $2.796 million, with total annual revenue at about $10.918 million, a decline of 6.8% from the previous fiscal year. Nvidia shares were trading at $531 per share, and its market capitalization reached $328.7 billion as of January 2021, making it one of the largest companies in the US market.

In the second quarter of 2020, Nvidia reported sales of $3.87 billion, which was an increase over the same period in 2019. Growth in sales and higher public demand for computing technology helped achieve this result. . According to the company’s CFO, Colette Kress, the effects of the pandemic will likely mirror this evolution in workforce trends with a heavy focus on technology, such as Nvidia computers and virtual workstations. which enables virtual work and remote collaboration.

Over the past fifteen years, Nvidia has seen sustained growth, with net revenues ranging from $89 million in 2005 to revenues of $2.796 million in 2020. Likewise, the company’s workforce has seen a sharp sizable increase, with 2,101 employees in 2005 and more than 13,770 employees in 2020. Another metric to consider is the company’s share price, which rose from $8.81 in 2005 to $730 in 2021.

GPU Technology Conference

The GPU Technology Conference is a series of technical conferences the company holds around the world. It originated in 2009, in San Jose, California, with an initial focus on the potential for solving computational problems using GPUs. In recent years, the focus of the conference has shifted, addressing various AI and machine learning applications, including self-driving cars, healthcare, high-performance computing, and training from the Nvidia Institute for Deep Learning. The 2018 conference drew more than 8,400 attendees. Due to the Covid19 pandemic, the 2020 conference was converted into a digital event that attracted more than 59,000 people.

Nvidia product families and lines

Nvidia’s product family includes graphics, wireless communication, PC processors, and software and hardware for the automotive market.

Nvidia graphics cards.
One of Nvidia’s products.

Some of the product lines corresponding to these segments are the following:

GeForce: Consumer-oriented graphics processing products.

Nvidia RTX is professional visual performance computer graphics processing product.

NVS: Solutions for business graphics.

Tegra, is a series of one-chip systems for mobile devices.

Tesla; a dedicated general-purpose GPU for high-quality imaging applications in professional and scientific fields.

nForce, a motherboard device created by Nvidia for Intel (Celeron Pentium and Core 2) and AMD (Ahtlon and Duron) processors.

Nvidia GRID, is a set of services and hardware created by Nvidia for graphics virtualization.

Nvidia Shield, has a wide range of gaming hardware including Shield Portable, Shield Tablet, and most recently Shield Android TV.

Nvidia Drive automotive solutions, a suite of software and hardware products to assist car drivers. The Drive PX series is a high-performance computing platform for autonomous vehicles for deep learning, while Driveworks is an operating system for driverless vehicles.

BlueField, a set of information processing units, was initially inherited from its acquisition of Mellanox Technologies.

Nvidia Datacenter/Server classes CPU, going by the name Nvidia Grace and will be available to consumers in 2023.

Support for open-source software

As of September 2013, Nvidia had not published any documentation for its advanced hardware, which meant that programmers would not be able to write open-source software for its products without resorting to reverse engineering, a complex process by which it is attempted to deduce the operation of a certain device.

Instead, Nvidia provides its own binary GeForce graphics drivers for X.Org and an open-source library with Linux, FreeBSD, or Solaris interfaces.

The proprietary nature of Nvidia’s proprietary software has caused disaffection among some of the company’s users and pro-free software communities. Some Linux and BSD users insist on using only free software drivers and regard the insistence on providing nothing more than a non-binary driver as inappropriate, given competition from vendors such as Intel who offer documentation for open-source developers and others ( such as AMD) release partial documentary information and provide some kind of active software development.

Due to the closed nature of the drivers, Nvidia’s video cards cannot deliver features suitable for some platforms and architectures, since the company only provides strictly specific drivers for each of its technological products. As a result, support for 3D graphics acceleration on Linux for PowerPC does not exist and is not supported on the PlayStation 3 console for Linux either.

Some users claim that Nvidia’s Linux drivers impose artificial restrictions, such as limiting the number of monitors that can be used at the same time, but the company has made no official comment on these claims.

In 2014, with the Maxwell GPUs, Nvidia started requiring firmware for them so that they could unlock all the usability features of their graphics cards. To date, this status has not changed and makes building open-source drivers for these Nvidia products extremely difficult.

deep learning

Nvidia GPUs are used in Deep Learning, a specialized type of machine learning, and accelerated analysis developed by the Nvidia CUDA API, which allows programmers to use the high number of cores present in GPUs. for operations that are used extensively in machine learning algorithms. These GPUs have been included in many Tesla vehicles before Elon Musk announced at the 2019 Tesla Autonomy session that the company had developed its own system-on-a-chip and fully capable computer for autonomous driving and would stop using the hardware. from Nvidia in their vehicles.

These GPUs are used by researchers, labs, and technology companies, as well as startup companies. In 2009, Nvidia was involved in what was dubbed the big bang of deep learning, when deep learning neural networks were combined with Nvidia graphics processing units for the first time. That year, Google Brain used Nvidia GPUs to create deep learning neural networks capable of autonomous learning, while Andrew Ng, the director of Google Brain, pointed out that GPUs could increase the speed of learning systems by about a hundred times.


DGX is a line of next-generation supercomputers from Nvidia.

In April 2016, Nvidia produced the 8-cluster GPU-based DGX-1 to enhance users’ ability to use deep learning by combining GPUs with embedded deep learning software. The company also designed machines based on virtual GPUs, which are available through Google Cloud, and which Google installed in November 2016. Microsoft added GPU servers in a pre-offering presentation for its Nvidia Tesla-based N-series. K80, each of which contained 4992 core processors. After that year, Nvidia produced another series of computers using up to 16 Nvidia K80 GPUs. Nvidia has also partnered with IBM to create a software kit that boosts the capabilities of the well-known Watson computer, called IBM PowerAI.

In 2017, Nvidia GPUs were also brought online to the Riken Center for Advanced Intelligence Project by the Japanese company Fujitsu. Deep learning technology significantly boosted the company’s revenue in 2017.

In May 2018, researchers at Nvidia’s artificial intelligence department realized the possibility that a robot could learn to perform a job simply by watching a person do the same job. The researchers have created a system that, after a short review and evaluation, can now be used to control next-generation artificial intelligence robots. In addition to the GPU production department, Nvidia provides parallel processing capabilities and scientists enable them to develop high-performance applications efficiently.

the inception program

Nvidia’s Inception program was created to support new companies, and startups, that are making exceptional advances in the fields of artificial intelligence and data science. The program’s award winners are announced at the Nvidia GTC Conference. There are currently 2,800 startups in the Inception program.

Is Nvidia a good investment?

With the popularization of retail stock trading through platforms like eToro and RobinHood, many people today can invest in Nvidia and other assets of major companies in the market. In this context, many people wonder if it is a good idea to invest in Nvidia shares, and even more so after the strong growth that this asset has experienced in recent years. Are Nvidia Stocks Overvalued? Has the company already reached its maximum growth potential? Can this company continue to grow as dynamically as it has in the past?

A review of the Investors website tells us the following about its potential as an investment asset :

Nvidia processors are what will power the future of self-driving cars and cloud gaming.

On May 26, 2021, Nvidia easily beat earnings expectations for its first quarter. Shares rose more than 25 percent after the reports.

For those looking for large-cap assets, here are some basic ideas to keep in mind:

(Please note that this review is from mid-2021, so any review at another time may differ from this one.) This illustration of ideas is for informational purposes only and does not constitute investment advice.

The COVID19 pandemic has stimulated the demand for processors and microprocessors, which has left Nvidia in a very good position for the future. Now microprocessors are in such high demand that this has led to a global shortage of them.

Graphics cards for cryptocurrency mining
Graphics cards for cryptocurrency mining

In 2021, Nvidia began manufacturing dedicated cryptocurrency mining chips, which were released in February 2021 and generated $155 million in sales for the company.

Although Nvidia has strong competition from the AMD side, the company is strongly established and has managed to establish a solid market that provides a high level of sales and affordability. Next to AMD, there is also Qualcomm and Broadcom, as well as Monolithic Power Systems.

Although there is competition from these groups, Nvidia remains the market leader and it is highly predictable that it will continue to do so in the future. Due to the impact of the pandemic and a greater need for processors and other Nvidia products, it is highly likely that the company’s growth will continue just as strong in the future. The fact that globally we have not yet seen a full recovery from the pandemic indicates that the future will undoubtedly be much brighter for Nvidia and despite the fact that its actions have a high cost, its value will continue to increase steadily. and stable within the next ten years.

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