NVIDIA Corporation, headquartered in Santa Clara, California, is a leading American multinational technology company. Specializing in software and fabless design, NVIDIA is renowned for its innovative graphics processing units (GPUs), application programming interfaces (APIs) for data science and high-performance computing, and system on a chip units (SoCs) for mobile computing and the automotive market. The company has established itself as a dominant supplier of hardware and software solutions for artificial intelligence.
NVIDIA's professional GPUs are highly regarded in various industries, including architecture, engineering, media and entertainment, automotive, scientific research, and manufacturing design. These powerful GPUs are utilized in workstations to deliver exceptional performance and visual rendering capabilities. Beyond GPU manufacturing, NVIDIA offers CUDA, an API that enables the development of massively parallel programs, which are widely deployed in supercomputing facilities worldwide.
In recent years, NVIDIA has expanded its presence in the mobile computing market by developing Tegra mobile processors for smartphones, tablets, and vehicle navigation and entertainment systems. The company's product portfolio also extends to the gaming industry, where it has introduced handheld game consoles such as the Shield Portable, Shield Tablet, and Shield TV, as well as the GeForce Now cloud gaming service.
In addition to its hardware offerings, NVIDIA develops AI-powered software solutions for audio and video processing, exemplified by products like Nvidia Maxine. The company's GPUs play a vital role in edge-to-cloud computing and supercomputers, driving advancements in various fields by delivering high-performance computing capabilities.
In recent years, NVIDIA has expanded into areas such as autonomous vehicles, healthcare, and cloud gaming. NVIDIA's headquarters are located in Santa Clara, California.
Jen-Hsun Huang, Curtis Priem, and Chris Malachowsky co-founded NVIDIA in 1993 with the intent to develop a single-chip graphics processor that could enable 3D graphics on personal computers. NVIDIA’s first product was the NV1, released in 1995, which enabled users to play games in 3D for the first time.
In 1998, NVIDIA introduced the GeForce 256, the world’s first GPU. This was followed by the successful GeForce 2, which enabled hardware-accelerated transform and lighting effects, and the GeForce 3 which allowed for real-time pixel and vertex shader operations.
Since then, NVIDIA has continued to innovate and create powerful GPUs that enable users to experience increasingly complex and realistic graphics. In 2012, NVIDIA introduced the Kepler architecture, which contained more than 3 billion transistors, increasing the performance of GPUs more than tenfold.
Open-source software support: Until September 23, 2013, Nvidia had not published any documentation for its advanced hardware, meaning that programmers could not write a free and open-source device driver for its products without resorting to (clean room) reverse engineering.
Instead, Nvidia provides its own binary GeForce graphics drivers for X.Org and an open-source library that interfaces with the Linux, FreeBSD, or Solaris kernels and the proprietary graphics software. Nvidia also provided but stopped supporting an obfuscated open-source driver that only supports two-dimensional hardware acceleration and ships with the X.Org distribution.
The proprietary nature of Nvidia's drivers has generated dissatisfaction within free-software communities. Some Linux and BSD users insist on using only open-source drivers and regard Nvidia's insistence on providing nothing more than a binary-only driver as inadequate, given that competing manufacturers such as Intel offer support and documentation for open-source developers and that others (like AMD) release partial documentation and provide some active development.
Because of the closed nature of the drivers, Nvidia video cards cannot deliver adequate features on some platforms and architectures given that the company only provides x86/x64 and ARMv7-A driver builds. As a result, support for 3D graphics acceleration in Linux on PowerPC does not exist, nor does support for Linux on the hypervisor-restricted PlayStation 3 console.
Some users claim that Nvidia's Linux drivers impose artificial restrictions, like limiting the number of monitors that can be used at the same time, but the company has not commented on these accusations.
In 2014, with Maxwell GPUs, Nvidia started to require firmware by them to unlock all features of its graphics cards. Up to now, this state has not changed and makes writing open-source drivers difficult.
In April 2016, Nvidia produced the DGX-1 based on an 8 GPU cluster, to improve the ability of users to use deep learning by combining GPUs with integrated deep learning software. It also developed Nvidia Tesla K80 and P100 GPU-based virtual machines, which are available through Google Cloud, which Google installed in November 2016. Microsoft added GPU servers in a preview offering of its N series based on Nvidia's Tesla K80s, each containing 4992 processing cores. Later that year, AWS's P2 instance was produced using up to 16 Nvidia Tesla K80 GPUs. That month Nvidia also partnered with IBM to create a software kit that boosts the AI capabilities of Watson, called IBM PowerAI. Nvidia also offers its own Nvidia Deep Learning software development kit. In 2017, the GPUs were also brought online at the Riken Center for Advanced Intelligence Project for Fujitsu. The company's deep learning technology led to a boost in its 2017 earnings.
In May 2018, researchers at the artificial intelligence department of Nvidia realized the possibility that a robot can learn to perform a job simply by observing the person doing the same job. They have created a system that, after a short revision and testing, can already be used to control the universal robots of the next generation. In addition to GPU manufacturing, Nvidia provides parallel processing capabilities to researchers and scientists that allow them to efficiently run high-performance applications.
On 12 May 2022, Nvidia announced that they are open-sourcing their GPU kernel drivers. They are still maintaining closed-source userland utilities, hence making users still dependent on their proprietary software.
The company is committed to transforming industries and unlocking the full potential of individuals and organizations through its innovative solutions.
At the core of NVIDIA's mission is the advancement of visual computing. The company is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of graphics processing and creating immersive, realistic visual experiences across various platforms and applications. By continuously innovating in this field, NVIDIA aims to deliver unparalleled visual performance and redefine the way we interact with digital content.
NVIDIA's mission is to harness the power of AI to revolutionize fields such as healthcare, autonomous vehicles, robotics, and more, ultimately driving positive societal impact.
NVIDIA's vision is centered around driving the AI and GPU computing revolution, and fundamentally transforming industries by creating technologies that accelerate computing, empower innovation, and shape the future of human experiences.
NVIDIA aims to be the leading force in enabling this AI revolution by providing the most advanced GPU architectures, software frameworks, and AI platforms. The company's vision is to empower developers, researchers, and industries with the tools and technologies needed to leverage the power of AI and GPU computing.
NVIDIA also envisions a future where autonomous machines and robots work alongside humans, augmenting human capabilities and transforming industries. The company believes in the potential of self-driving cars, intelligent robots, and automated systems to revolutionize transportation, healthcare, manufacturing, and more.
Moreover, NVIDIA's vision extends to delivering immersive and interactive virtual experiences. The company sees a future where virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies enable new forms of storytelling, gaming, education, and communication, creating transformative experiences that blur the line between the physical and digital worlds.
NVIDIA's vision goes beyond technological advancements. The company is dedicated to promoting responsible AI development and ensuring that AI technologies are ethically designed, transparent, and accountable. NVIDIA believes in the responsible use of AI to address global challenges and foster societal progress.
Jensen Huang (Founder and CEO)
Brooke Seawell (Board Member)
Mark Perry (Board Member)
Mark Stevens (Board Member)
Michael McCaffery (Board Member)
Rob Burgess (Board Member)
Robert Ober (Chief Platform Architect)
Tench Coxe (Board Member)
Alex Aizman (Chief Storage Architect)
Bill Dally (Chief Scientist and Senior Vice President of Research)
NVIDIA offers a wide range of products and services that cater to various industries and technological needs. The company is renowned for its expertise in graphics processing units (GPUs) and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, which form the foundation of its product portfolio.
One of NVIDIA's flagship products is its line of GPUs. These powerful processors are designed to handle complex graphics rendering and computational tasks. NVIDIA's GPUs are widely used in gaming, professional visualization, and high-performance computing. They provide exceptional graphics performance, enabling realistic and immersive gaming experiences, as well as supporting advanced scientific simulations and data analysis.
In addition to GPUs, NVIDIA provides software frameworks and tools that facilitate AI development and deployment. The NVIDIA CUDA parallel computing platform and application programming interface (API) enable developers to harness the power of GPUs for massively parallel computing tasks. This allows for accelerated AI training and inference, making it possible to tackle complex AI workloads more efficiently.
NVIDIA's AI platforms and solutions are specifically designed to accelerate deep learning, machine learning, and data analytics. The company's GPUs, combined with specialized software and development libraries, enable organizations to build and deploy AI models at scale. These AI solutions find applications in diverse fields, including healthcare, autonomous vehicles, robotics, finance, and more.
NVIDIA has expanded its product offerings to cater to the growing demand for edge computing and autonomous machines. The NVIDIA Jetson platform provides embedded systems and AI modules that power intelligent devices at the edge, such as drones, robots, and industrial IoT applications. These compact and energy-efficient solutions enable real-time AI processing and inference, bringing advanced capabilities to the edge of the network.
NVIDIA offers professional visualization solutions for industries such as architecture, engineering, media and entertainment, and manufacturing design. Its Quadro series of GPUs deliver high-performance graphics and real-time rendering capabilities, enabling professionals to create complex 3D models, virtual reality simulations, and visual effects.
NVIDIA provides cloud-based services like GeForce NOW, a game streaming platform that allows users to access and play games on various devices. It leverages NVIDIA's powerful GPUs in the cloud to deliver smooth and responsive gaming experiences, eliminating the need for high-end gaming hardware.
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