Nvidia is now worth more than Intel, according to the NASDAQ. The GPU company has finally topped the CPU company's market cap (the total value of its outstanding shares) by $251bn to $248bn, meaning it is now technically worth more to its shareholders. Look at it this way: that's a lot of leather jackets for Jen-Hsun.
That rise comes off the back of massive gains over the past year, during which its share value has increased by over 70%. That's quite something for the fabless company, not the least bit because it doesn't actually manufacture its own chips, but also because previous highs during the cryptocurrency boom, which were deemed by many to be unsustainable at the time, have been monumentally beaten.
Nvidia's share price is now $408.64. That crushes a peak of $281 back in September 2018, before the shockwaves of the cryptocurrency mining boom brought Nvidia's stock price crashing back down. And this time its share price isn't intrinsically-tied to a flash in the pan mining movement.
So what is it that has brokers bending over backwards for Nvidia stocks? All that data centre positioning and compute-focused technology CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, is always emphatically talking about is sure to have won over many to the green team's camp. However, it's also worth noting that market cap is entirely a measure of a company's perceived worth, and not how much money it generates. That's what revenue is a measure of—and Nvidia's $10.9bn barely holds a candle to Intel's $72bn total revenue in that regard.
So this is as much a marker of Nvidia's expected performance going forward as to what it means for today, and there are a few potential explanations for why everyone's set their expectations so high (via Seeking Alpha (opens in new tab)).
Nvidia makes a lot of money off of its data centre business but GeForce is still the major money maker. Nvidia Ampere GeForce GPUs (opens in new tab) are expected to arrive later this year, some bearing the RTX 3080 name have already been spotted, and it's expected that general excitement surrounding the next-gen consoles (yes, those AMD RDNA 2 (opens in new tab)-powered ones) will actually bolster the PC gaming market and Nvidia's sales, too.
There's also the existing push into the data centre with the Ampere compute architecture and the A100, which Nvidia loves to show off within its AI-inference accelerating DGX system. It's fit with eight Nvidia A100 cards, 320GB of HBM2 memory, 15TB of PCIe 4.0 SSDs, and two AMD EPYC CPUs.
But let's not forget the competition. AMD is gearing up to release its own RDNA 2 graphics cards for PC later this year, alongside the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles built on the same architecture. That's an awfully well-rounded lineup for the red team, so Nvidia will have its work cut out for it if it wants to stay ahead.