Nvidia Corporation is an American multinational technology company incorporated in Delaware and based in Santa Clara, California. It designs graphics processing units (GPUs) for the gaming and professional markets, as well as system on a chip units (SoCs) for the mobile computing and automotive market. Its primary GPU product line, labeled "GeForce", is in direct competition with Advanced Micro Devices' (AMD) "Radeon" products. Nvidia expanded its presence in the gaming industry with its handheld Shield Portable, Shield Tablet, and Shield Android TV and its cloud gaming service GeForce Now.
In addition to GPU manufacturing, Nvidia provides parallel processing capabilities to researchers and scientists that allow them to efficiently run high-performance applications. They are deployed in supercomputing sites around the world. More recently, it has moved into the mobile computing market, where it produces Tegra mobile processors for smartphones and tablets as well as vehicle navigation and entertainment systems. In addition to AMD, its competitors include Intel and Qualcomm.
For the fiscal year 2018, Nvidia reported earnings of US$3.047 billion, with an annual revenue of US$9.714 billion, an increase of 40.6% over the previous fiscal cycle. Nvidia's shares traded at over $245 per share, and its market capitalization was valued at over US$120.6 billion in September 2018.
For the Q2 of 2020, Nvidia reported sales of $3.87 billion, which was a 50% rise from the same period in 2019. The surge in sales was a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and people's higher demand for computer technology. According to the financial chief of the company, Colette Kress, the effects of the pandemic will "likely reflect this evolution in enterprise workforce trends with a greater focus on technologies, such as Nvidia laptops and virtual workstations, that enable remote work and virtual collaboration.
Nvidia was founded on April 5, 1993, by Jensen Huang (CEO as of 2020), a Taiwanese American, previously director of CoreWare at LSI Logic and a microprocessor designer at Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Chris Malachowsky, an electrical engineer who worked at Sun Microsystems, and Curtis Priem, previously a senior staff engineer and graphics chip designer at Sun Microsystems.
In 1993, the three co-founders believed that the proper direction for the next wave of computing is accelerated or graphics-based computing as this model of computing could solve problems that general-purpose computing fundamentally couldn't. They also observed that video games were simultaneously one of the most computationally challenging problems and would have incredibly high sales volume. The two conditions don't happen very often. Video games became the company's flywheel to reach large markets and funding huge R&D to solve massive computational problems. With only $40,000 in the bank, the company was born. The company subsequently received $20 million of venture capital funding from Sequoia Capital and others. Nvidia initially had no name and the co-founders named all their files NV, as in "next version". The need to incorporate the company prompted the co-founders to review all words with those two letters, leading them to "invidia", the Latin word for "envy". Nvidia went public on January 22, 1999.