How Nvidia Became a Global Powerhouse in Hardware


There are many elements that go into powering computers and for most users, they go unnoticed. However, computer chip designer Nvidia found themselves in the news as their share price took the valuation of the company to over one trillion dollars. How has this company grown to join to the likes Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple in the trillion-dollar club?

Early Years

In the mid-1990s, video gaming on personal computers was beginning to take off. This was an area of personal computing that had yet to be really explored and Nvidia was created to produce a special type of computer chip called a GPU (graphics processing unit). The idea was that the card would enable the output of high-quality graphics on the computer screen, something which was welcomed by both gamers and video editors. The more powerful the card, the faster high-quality graphics could be rendered on the screen. This became more important as video games developed, with split seconds making a substantial difference to the gaming experience. This applies to all forms of online gaming today and without a graphics card in your computer, playing SpinBit casino games would not be anywhere near as much fun.

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Programmable GPUs

For gamers, GPUs were a brilliant piece of hardware that sat in the background and allowed them to play their games. However, the chief executive of Nvidia, Jensen Huang, did not want to stop there and made the decision to make the chips programmable. This came on the back of research conducted at Stanford University that showed GPUs could accelerate maths operations in a superior way to other processing chips. Mr Huang invested his resources into the creation of tools that would make GPUs programmable. This feature was added to Nvidia GPUs and while it was of little consequence to video game players, it was a bid deal to researchers who were looking for ways to produce high performance computing on consumer models.

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Pandemic and AI

The fact people were forced to put their social life on hold during the pandemic, increased profit for Nvidia. 2020 was a particularly good year and with people stuck at home with money to spend, some choose to start playing computer games and get involved in other forms of computing, such as programming. Prior to 2020, Intel was the leading chip manufacturer and enjoyed over double the market value of Nvidia. That has changed considerably over the past three years and in 2022, Nvidia released the H100 at a cost of $40,000 each to the consumer. This seemed like a bad move at the time but then came the launch of ChatGPT. The H100 was designed for generative AI and with ChatGPT becoming hugely popular, the race was on as the world’s leading tech companies wanted the H100. Nvidia had the right product at the right time and sales were booming. There is no doubt Nvidia was one of the first big winners from the emergence of generative AI. Customers were waiting months for their chips to arrive, and the generative AI boom has played a significant role in Nvidia becoming a global powerhouse in hardware.

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