Nvidia’s (NVDA 3.58%) inception aimed to revolutionize 3D computer graphics for gaming and multimedia sectors. Initially achieving success with various chips, the company made a significant leap in 1999 with the introduction of the Nvidia GeForce 256, the world’s first graphics processing unit (GPU).
This milestone had culminated in the latest GeForce RTX 40 Series, which can deliver life-like graphics to digital content with the help of Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS), an incredible innovation by Nvidia. DLSS uses artificial intelligence (AI) to create additional frames in a video game scene and enhance image quality.
Until fiscal 2022 (ended Jan. 30, 2022), gaming was routinely Nvidia’s largest revenue driver. The segment generated $12.5 billion in sales that year, which accounted for 46% of the company’s total revenue. But then, everything changed:
Artificial intelligence is transforming the data center
Data centers used to be where companies stored valuable information, but have since evolved to become centralized hubs for online operations (otherwise known as cloud computing). Today, data centers are home to powerful chips designed by Nvidia to process AI workloads.
The shift began in 2016 when Nvidia delivered the first AI supercomputer to OpenAI, which it used to develop the early generative AI models that culminated in the famous ChatGPT online chatbot.
Now, Nvidia’s leading H100 data center GPUs sell for up to $40,000 a pop. With centralized data center operators like Microsoft and Amazon ordering hundreds of thousands of them to give cloud customers the computing power they need to develop AI.
It sent Nvidia’s data center revenue soaring 279% year over year in the fiscal 2024 third quarter (ended Oct. 29, 2023). The data center segment now accounts for 80% of Nvidia’s total revenue, leaving the gaming segment in the dust.
Nvidia is now a $1.8 trillion behemoth, and $1 trillion of that value was created in the last 12 months alone. The good news is that Nvidia stock could probably still go higher from here.
John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Anthony Di Pizio has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Amazon, Microsoft, and Nvidia. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.