The future is here whether you want it or not as AI briefly makes Nvidia the 4th most valuable corporation on Earth with a $1.83 trillion market cap

TAIPEI, TAIWAN - 2023/06/01: Jensen Huang, President of NVIDIA holding the Grace hopper superchip CPU used for generative AI at supermicro keynote presentation during the COMPUTEX 2023. The COMPUTEX 2023 runs from 30 May to 02 June 2023 and gathers over 1,000 exhibitors from 26 different countries with 3000 booths to display their latest products and to sign orders with foreign buyers.
Jensen Huang, President of Nvidia holding the Grace hopper superchip CPU used for generative AI. (Image credit: Walid Berrazeg/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

If AI's good for anything, it's for allowing tech companies to summit new, Mansa Musa-like heights in their various market caps. Last month, Microsoft rode the AI boom to a $2.9 trillion valuation, pipping Apple to the post as the most valuable corporation on Earth. And now Nvidia's getting in on the fun, too.

Bloomberg reports that Nvidia briefly overtook Amazon yesterday, hitting a market cap of $1.83 trillion in a rally that saw it briefly become the fourth most valuable company in the world behind Alphabet ($1.84 trillion), Apple ($2.89 trillion), and Microsoft (currently $3.09 trillion).

And while you might think it's entirely because I finally gave up and forked over an eye-watering amount of money for an RTX 4080, it turns out that, actually, it was because of AI. While other corporations out there are riding the AI wave, it's mostly Nvidia's chips that are making it happen. According to a chart from the Financial Times, Nvidia's estimated revenue from data centre chip spending by the beginning of January 24 totalled about $16 billion, four times higher than Intel's revenue for the same ($4 billion) and eight times higher than AMD's ($2 billion). 

Even more wild, that's a level of revenue the company has reached in under a year: Around February/March 2023, Nvidia's data centre chip revenue was about even with Intel's at $4 billion. No wonder, then, that the company found itself beating out Bezos in the scrum of yesterday's markets, albeit briefly.

By the time markets closed, Nvidia was back down in fifth place with a paltry market cap of a mere $1.78 trillion (imagine!), while Amazon was at $1.79 trillion. There's no reason to imagine Nvidia is going to start falling behind, but it's hard to make predictions about whether it can keep its momentum up. 

Saxo Bank's Peter Garnry (quoted by Bloomberg) attributed Nvidia's rise to "riding the investment wave of the current AI boom with massive capital expenditures being deployed in data centres." With companies like Microsoft and, well, Amazon rushing to make chips of their own, who's to say how long Nvidia will enjoy its current privileged position?

Joshua Wolens
News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was much too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. His writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.