Nvidia passes Google’s market cap, now world’s fourth most valuable company

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Nvidia used to be a gaming GPU company, but the company’s value has absolutely skyrocketed thanks to the AI craze and a GPU’s value in accelerating AI workloads. A few purpose-built chips later, like the H100 Tensor Core GPU (with a price of $25,000-$40,000!) and A100, and Nvidia’s stock is up 50 percent this year. At press time, Nvidia’s market cap is now $1.8 trillion, beating Amazon ($1.76 trillion) and Google’s parent company, Alphabet ($1.77 trillion), to become the world’s fourth most valuable company.

How much further can Nvidia’s blazing stock rally go? Next up on the ‘highest market cap’ list is Saudi Aramco, the national oil company of Saudi Arabia, at $2.0 trillion; then Apple, at $2.8 trillion; and another company riding the AI wave, Microsoft, at $3 trillion.

Nvidia’s next earnings report is February 21. The last one was for Q3 2023, showing that the company is basically selling every AI chip it can make. Revenue was up 206 percent from the same quarter last year, and of the company’s $18.12 billion in revenue, $14.51 billion was generated by its AI/data center division. Q4 will probably be another record-setting quarter for the company, and coming up in Q2 2024, Nvidia will launch its next-gen AI chip, the HGX H200 Tensor Core GPU. A TrendForce estimate puts Nvidia’s AI server market share at 60–70 percent.

One potentially scary thing for Nvidia is that a lot of AI companies are looking into building their own chips. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman wants to see trillions more invested in AI chip infrastructure, which would dwarf the current ~$500 billion chip industry. Altman and Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang are actually at odds about how the future of AI chip production should scale. Altman recently tweeted: “We believe the world needs more AI infrastructure—fab capacity, energy, datacenters, etc—than people are currently planning to build. Building massive-scale AI infrastructure, and a resilient supply chain, is crucial to economic competitiveness.”

Huang, responding to that Wall Street Journal report, doesn’t think that much more production is warranted, saying, “You can’t assume just that you will buy more computers. You have to also assume that the computers are going to become faster and therefore the total amount that you need is not as much.”

There is a huge AI chip shortage right now, so basically, every big AI player has some kind of chip program going. There are programs from Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, AMD, Google, and possibly others. Will anyone ever be able to catch Nvidia, though?

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