NVIDIA Corporation's (NASDAQ: NVDA) name has become synonymous with discrete GPUs and it is the unparalleled leader in the segment. The latest estimates by Jon Peddie Research showed Nvidia dominating with roughly 69% share in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to rival Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.'s (NASDAQ: AMD) 31% in a duopolistic market.
Nvidia's Early Bet On Gaming Growth
Nvidia was founded in April 1993 by the trio of Jensen Huang, Chris Malachowsky and Curtis Priem on the premise that PCs would one day become consumer devices for enjoying games and multimedia.
The first product rolled out of Nvidia's stable in 1995 in the form of a PCI card named NV1, which incidentally did not sell well. The company forged an important alliance in 1998 when it struck a manufacturing partnership with Taiwan Semiconductor Mfg. Co. Ltd. (NYSE: TSM).
The real breakthrough came in 1991 when Nvidia invented the GPU.
In 2001, the company unveiled its nForce Platform, signaling its entry into the integrated GPU market. It introduced the first programmable GPU, the GeForce3.
On the financial front, Nvidia achieved the milestone of $1 billion in annual revenue in 2001. The stock was added to the S&P 500 Index that year.
In 2005, Nvidia developed a processor for Sony Corp's (NYSE: SNE) PlayStation 3.
The $1-billion number become Nvidia's run rate for quarterly revenue in 2007.
Nvidia's Wall Street Journey
In 1991, the company went public, offering 3.5 million shares at $12 per share, raising $42 million in the process. The stock closed the debut session Jan. 22, 1999 at $19.7, giving it a market-cap of $626.1 million.
Nvidia's Journey to $100B Market Cap
The shares touched a $1-billion market cap milestone in Nov. 1999, the same year of its debut. In another six years, the market cap increased to $10 billion. The market cap doubled to $20 billion in September 2007.
With the stock losing ground, the market cap slipped and it took nearly a decade for the stock to reclaim the $20-billion market cap level. The stock's market cap increased to $20 billion after the gap in April 2016.
It was then a northward bound journey for the stock as well as its market cap. The market cap hit $100 billion for the first time in July 2017. It took 18 years from Nvidia's IPO for the stock to attain the $100-billion market cap mark and 24 years from the company's inception.
Nvidia achieved a $200-billion market cap last week.
Nvidia Product Timeline
- 1999: GeForce 256, the first GPU
- 2001: GeForce 3, the first programmable GPU
- 2006: Cuda architecture unveiled
- 2008: launched Tegra mobile processors
- 2011: introduces Tegra 2, the first dual-core mobile processors
- 2015: ventures into deep learning with the launch of Tegra X1 and Nvidia drive
- 2016: kickstarted the AI revolution with Pascal architecture, DGX-1, DRIVR PX 2
- 2017: Volta architecture introduced
- 2018: Turning architecture unveiled
- 2020: unveiled the A100 data center GPU powered by the new Ampere architecture
Photo courtesy of Nvidia.