The post-pandemic boom in the semiconductor business has powered
into the top 10 U.S. public companies, joining the likes of Apple Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Shares of the Santa Clara, Calif., firm have risen nearly 80% over the past year, giving it a market value of around $453 billion. That is more than rivals
Nvidia makes processors that power gaming and cryptocurrency mining. Chip shares have risen in part thanks to a pandemic-induced global shortage of semiconductors that has driven up the prices of everything from laptops to automobiles.
One reason for Nvidia’s outperformance, analysts say, is that its chips’ parallel-computing capabilities make them better than rivals’ for artificial-intelligence performance and mining cryptocurrencies. Nvidia’s graphics processors are used for mining ethereum and the cryptocurrency’s value has soared this year, even after a recent correction.
That surge has exacerbated the shortage of gaming chips. Nvidia plans to sell cards aimed at the crypto market and has employed technical adjustments to make gaming processors less useful to miners. Analysts also expect Nvidia to get a boost from tech and autonomous-vehicle companies using its chips to navigate traffic or track online behavior.
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“The company is the biggest and best supplier of parallel computing,” said
analyst at BMO Capital Markets. “It’s hard to compete against that.”
While Nvidia has a leg up in the data-center industry, competitors are catching up, analysts said. The recent slide in crypto also could spur miners to dump their chips on the secondary market, as happened when a previous ethereum skid hit revenue in 2018.
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