You must have played the classic board game – Monopoly – buying and selling properties to become the wealthiest player and driving the opponents into bankruptcy. Oh dear, it is so exciting and so much fun! However, in the bustling landscape of commerce, where businesses look for supremacy, Monopoly is exactly the phenomenon that is both revered and feared. In the realm of business, a well-earned monopoly can often be the harbinger of prosperity, a beacon guiding both companies and consumers toward untold riches. It is like a grand chessboard where one player is manoeuvring the entire board with cunning strategy and unwavering ambition. Well, Nvidia Corporation, the United States tech giant, is in a similar position today. The rise of artificial intelligence products has skyrocketed the demand for AI chips and Nvidia holds 80% of the market share in this space. Its competitors AMD, Intel and Qualcomm, are lagging far behind in the competition. Therefore, as AI continues its upward trajectory, Nvidia remains the buzzword. When a business enjoys a monopoly, it consolidates its power and streamlines its operations, paving the way for greater efficiency, lower costs, and, ultimately, heightened prosperity for all stakeholders involved. Yet, like any potent force, the Monopoly must be wielded with care and foresight, or it can lead to stagnation or abuse. In the dance between competition and consolidation, it is the judicious balance that propels businesses toward greater heights of success and ensures a thriving ecosystem of commerce for generations to come. So, yes, Nvidia is propelling like a rocket. Its ascent may seem unstoppable, but the looming question remains – how long will its monopoly endure?

Why is Nvidia making news?

Chipmaker Nvidia has been making headlines recently due to its impressive surge in market capitalization. As of February 2024, the company boasts a market cap of USD 1.941 trillion, solidifying its position as the world’s fourth most valuable company. Nvidia’s stock price has seen remarkable growth over the past year. 2022 was a challenging year for Nvidia, with its stock price experiencing a 50% decline compared to its peak in 2021. However, the stock price was around USD 290 in February 2023, and stands at USD 776 in February 2024, representing a near 168% increase. This remarkable rise can be attributed to several factors, including booming demand for its graphics processing units (GPUs) used in artificial intelligence applications, strong financial performance exceeding expectations, and its recent achievement of briefly reaching the USD 2 trillion valuation mark. Nvidia has exceeded analyst expectations with its impressive financial reports throughout 2023, showcasing its ability to capitalize on the rising demand for AI chips. Nvidia has reported record-breaking revenue and earnings in its latest financial reports. For the fourth quarter of 2023, they reported revenue of USD 22.1 billion, up 22% from the previous quarter and 265% year-over-year. Full-year revenue for fiscal 2024 reached USD 60.9 billion, a 126% increase compared to the previous year. The Data Center segment, which provides GPU solutions for artificial intelligence and other demanding workloads, has been a key driver of Nvidia’s growth. This segment saw its revenue increase by 409% year-over-year in the fourth quarter. This rapid growth, coupled with its continued innovation in the AI sector, has placed Nvidia at the forefront of technological advancements and cemented its place as a major player in the global market. Nvidia’s position as a leader in the AI chip market has gained increased recognition and appreciation from investors, leading to a surge in their stock price. Nvidia continues to invest heavily in research and development, driving innovation in AI and graphics processing technologies. This focus on innovation positions them well for future growth in an evolving technological landscape.

Nvidia’s journey so far

Nvidia Corporation was founded in 1993 by Jensen Huang, Chris Malachowsky, and Curtis Priem. Initially, the company focused on the development of graphics processing units (GPUs) for gaming and professional markets. Their first major product, the NV1, was released in 1995, followed by the RIVA series. Nvidia quickly gained recognition for its high-performance graphics technology, establishing itself as a key player in the gaming industry. In the early 2000s, Nvidia expanded its focus beyond gaming into professional visualization, with products like the Quadro series aimed at professionals in fields such as architecture, engineering, and content creation. They also ventured into high-performance computing (HPC) with products like Tesla GPUs, targeting scientific and research applications. Nvidia introduced CUDA (Compute Unified Device Architecture) in 2006, a parallel computing platform and programming model that enables developers to use Nvidia GPUs for general-purpose processing tasks beyond graphics. This marked a significant shift as GPUs could now be utilized for a wide range of computational tasks, including AI and machine learning.

The 2010s saw Nvidia emerging as a leader in AI and deep learning. Their GPUs, particularly those based on the CUDA architecture, proved to be highly efficient for training and running deep neural networks, which are fundamental to many AI applications. Nvidia’s Tesla GPUs became widely adopted in data centres for AI training tasks, fueling the growth of AI technologies across industries. Nvidia introduced specialized GPU accelerators tailored for AI workloads, such as the Tesla P100 and V100, which offered significant performance improvements for deep learning tasks. They also developed comprehensive AI platforms like the NVIDIA DGX systems, integrating hardware and software optimized for AI development and deployment, further solidifying their position in the AI market. In addition to data centre AI, Nvidia has made significant strides in powering AI for edge devices and autonomous vehicles. Their NVIDIA Drive platform offers solutions for autonomous driving, including hardware such as the NVIDIA Drive AGX and software for perception, mapping, and planning. These efforts have positioned Nvidia as a key player in the burgeoning field of autonomous transportation.

In recent years, Nvidia has continued to innovate in AI, GPU technology, and related fields. They have made strategic acquisitions, such as Mellanox Technologies, to strengthen their position in high-performance computing and networking. Looking ahead, Nvidia is poised to play a critical role in shaping the future of AI, with ongoing research and development efforts focused on advancing GPU technology, accelerating AI adoption, and expanding into new application areas.

Where is the competition?

While Nvidia does hold a strong position in the graphics processing unit (GPU) market, particularly for high-end segments, AMD, Intel and Qualcomm also offer competitive products. AMD’s Radeon series GPUs directly compete with Nvidia’s GeForce lineup, offering strong performance at competitive price points, especially in the mid-range segment. They are also a major player in the CPU (Central Processing Unit) market, with their Ryzen processors gaining significant market share against Intel’s offerings. While Intel’s discrete graphics cards (sold under the ARC brand) haven’t yet reached the performance level of Nvidia’s top offerings, they are still a relatively new entrant in the dedicated GPU market and are showing potential for future improvement. Additionally, Intel remains a dominant force in the integrated graphics market, where their graphics solutions are embedded into CPUs, making them a major player for casual users and budget-conscious consumers. While not directly competing in the PC graphics card market, Qualcomm is a leader in mobile processors, where they integrate powerful GPUs alongside CPUs for smartphones and tablets. Their Adreno GPUs compete effectively with Nvidia’s Tegra series in the mobile space. However, Nvidia has established some key advantages that contribute to its strong market position.

Nvidia’s foresight played a crucial role in its success. The company recognized the potential of AI years before the current boom, investing heavily in developing cutting-edge chip designs specifically tailored for AI applications. This vision gave them a significant lead over competitors, who are still struggling to catch up. Nvidia has been primarily focused on GPUs since its inception, whereas AMD and Intel have historically focused more on CPUs. This early specialization allowed Nvidia to build expertise and brand recognition specifically in the graphics processing field. Beyond hardware, Nvidia strategically developed CUDA, a programming interface that works seamlessly with its chips. This unique combination of powerful hardware and user-friendly software makes Nvidia’s solutions the preferred choice for AI developers worldwide. AI demands immense computing power, and Nvidia’s chips are ideally suited for this task. From training complex AI models to processing vast amounts of data, Nvidia’s technology empowers the cutting edge of the AI revolution.

While Nvidia enjoys a dominant position, potential threats exist. The competitive landscape is constantly evolving, and AMD, Intel, and Qualcomm are all actively investing in research and development to improve their offerings. While Nvidia may currently hold the lead in some segments, the future of the GPU market remains dynamic and open to potential shifts. Enterprises, governments, and cloud hyperscalers such as Microsoft and Alphabet are unlikely to commit exclusively to a single supplier. Therefore, if AMD manages to offer a solution that approaches the performance level of Nvidia’s H100 chip, it stands a strong chance of securing a significant portion of the market share. Meanwhile, export restrictions to China and rising competition from Chinese chipmakers could also challenge Nvidia’s market share. Additionally, the company’s dependence on Taiwanese chip manufacturer TSMC for production poses potential geopolitical risks. However, despite these challenges, analysts are optimistic about Nvidia’s future, given the projected growth in the AI market.

The Semiconductor Industry

The semiconductor industry experienced a significant growth spurt during the PC revolution of the 1980s. As personal computers transformed from niche gadgets to indispensable tools in everyday life, the demand for computer chips skyrocketed, marking the inception of a new era. Over the past four decades, these tiny but mighty chips have permeated almost every facet of our existence, finding their way into appliances, automobiles, and an array of technological devices. Yet, as technology continues to evolve, so too do the fortunes of the companies manufacturing these chips, with their successes and challenges intricately intertwined with the shifts in technology. Although revenue growth has experienced a resurgence in recent years, it’s evident that the industry has matured, marking a shift from high growth to stability.

Despite the maturation of the semiconductor industry, profitability has remained constant. Gross and operating margins have consistently reflected healthy figures, with a notable uptick observed since 2010, underscoring the increased profitability in certain segments of the chip business. However, periodic dips in profitability serve as a reminder of the cyclicality inherent in the industry, highlighting the need for resilience and adaptability amidst evolving market dynamics. It’s important to note that these margins may be understated due to the accounting treatment of research and development (R&D) expenses, which are classified as operating expenses rather than capital expenditures. As the semiconductor industry has grown in size and profitability, investors have closely monitored and priced in these developments, resulting in fluctuating market capitalizations for semiconductor companies. Despite these fluctuations, semiconductor companies generally maintain light debt loads, leading to enterprise values closely aligned with market capitalization.

Changes in customer demand, driven by shifts from personal computers to smartphones and emerging sectors such as automobiles, crypto, and gaming, underscore the industry’s adaptability to evolving consumer preferences. Looking ahead, forecasts for the semiconductor industry hint at continued growth, fueled by increasing demand from emerging sectors such as automobile and industrial electronics. However, the potential surge in demand from artificial intelligence products underscores the unpredictable nature of technological evolution, highlighting the industry’s resilience and capacity for innovation in the face of uncertainty. As we peer into the future, it’s clear that the semiconductor industry will continue to play a pivotal role in driving technological innovation and shaping the global economy.


  1. Indian Express – ‘The world’s most valuable chipmaker’: How Nvidia saw a 250% surge in revenues amid AI stock rally
  2. The Guardian – Why did chip-maker Nvidia’s profits soar and is it living in a tech bubble?
  3. The Washington Post – Why Nvidia is suddenly one of the most valuable companies in the world