- With the belief that the PC one day would become a consumer device for enjoying games and multimedia, NVIDIA is founded by Jen-Hsun Huang, Chris Malachowsky and Curtis Priem.
At the time, there were more than two dozen graphics chips companies, a number that would soar to 70 three years later. By 2006, NVIDIA was the only independent still operating.
- NVIDIA's reaches its first strategic partnership with SGS-Thomson Microelectronics to manufacture the company's single-chip graphical-user interface accelerator.
Diamond Multimedia Systems is selected to install the chips in multimedia accelerator boards.
- Sega, the leader in arcade games, ports Virtua Fighter to be the first 3D game to run on NVIDIA graphics.
NVIDIA NV1, the company's first product, is launched. The PCI card was sold as the Diamond Edge 3D, featuring a 2D/3D graphics core based on quadratic texture mapping.
- NVIDIA unveils its first Microsoft DirectX drivers with support for Direct3D, an API used to render 3D graphics where performance is critical.
- The company introduces RIVA 128, the world's first 128-bit 3D processor. It receives OEM acceptance, and more than one million units are shipped within its first four months.
- NVIDIA expands the RIVA processor family. RIVA 128ZX offers the industry's fastest 3D processing capability. RIVA TNT is the first multitexturing 3D processor.
The Fabless Semiconductor Association votes NVIDIA the Industry's Most Respected Private Fabless Company for the second consecutive year.
A multi-year strategic partnership is formed with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, which begins to assist in manufacturing NVIDIA products.
- NVIDIA invents the graphics processing unit, putting it on a path to reshape the industry. GeForce 256 is launched as the world's first GPU, a term NVIDIA defines as "a single-chip processor with integrated transform, lighting, triangle setup/clipping, and rendering engines that is capable of processing a minimum of 10 million polygons per second." Modern GPUs process over 2 billion polygons per second.
NVIDIA announces its initial public offering at $12 per share.
NVIDIA introduces the Quadro GPU for professional graphics. Quadro soon becomes the standard for professionals designing everything from tennis shoes to automobiles.
- Microsoft selects NVIDIA to provide the graphics processors for its first Xbox gaming console.
NVIDIA acquires the assets of 3dfx, a pioneer in graphics technology.
GeForce2 Go, the world's first notebook GPU, is launched.
- With the nForce platform, NVIDIA enters the integrated graphics market.
The company introduces the industry's first programmable GPU, NVIDIA GeForce3, which enables developers to create custom visual effects.
Following the events of 9/11, NVIDIA employees forego a holiday party in favor of a community day of service. The event becomes an annual tradition and is later named "Project Inspire".
NVIDIA becomes the fastest semiconductor company to reach $1 billion in revenue, and is added to the S&P 500.
- The company ships its 100 millionth processor.
Dawn, a hugely popular demo, is unveiled by NVIDIA at the Game Developers Conference. Scene depicts a forest fairy with translucent wings, pointy ears, antennae and a dress made of leaves and blue petals, cavorting on a branch.
Fortune magazine names NVIDIA the fastest-growing company in the U.S.
- Stanford Business School Alumni Association names NVIDIA as Entrepreneurial Company of the Year, joining such past honorees as eBay, Charles Schwab & Co. and Cisco Systems.
'The Way It's Meant to Be Played' is introduced, in an effort to encourage game-developers to fully exploit the power of the GPU.
The company acquires Media Q, a leader in graphics and multimedia technology for wireless.
- NVIDIA teams up with Blizzard Entertainment on the release of World of Warcraft in 3D graphics. The massively multiplayer online game would go on to become the world's most popular.
SLI technology is launched, allowing multiple GPUs to be linked together and dramatically increase the graphics power of a single machine.
NVIDIA helps NASA reconstruct the terrain of Mars. Using NVIDIA technology, data transmitted by the Rover is rendered in photorealistic virtual reality, allowing scientists to explore Mars as if they were moving freely on the red planet's surface.
- NVIDIA announces its development of the processor for Sony's PlayStation 3 gaming console.
ULi Electronics, a Taiwan-based developer of core logic technology, is acquired.
- NVIDIA ships its 500 millionth graphics processor.
NVIDIA unveils CUDA, a revolutionary architecture for general purpose GPU computing. CUDA will enable scientists and researchers to harness the parallel processing capabilities of GPUs to tackle their most complex computing challenges.
Acquisition of Hybrid Graphics, a developer of embedded 2D and 3D graphics software for handheld devices.
- The company achieves its first quarter with $1 billion in revenue.
NVIDIA wins an Emmy award for the impact its innovative graphics processors have had on the entertainment industry.
Forbes magazine names NVIDIA "Company of the Year." The article cites NVIDIA's advantage in the graphics market, as well as its incredible growth over the previous year.
Launch of the Tesla GPU. The computing power previously available in supercomputers is made widely accessible for researchers in fields such as drug discovery, medical imaging and weather modeling.
PortalPlayer, a supplier of semiconductors, firmware and software for personal media players, is acquired.
- NVIDIA launches the Tegra mobile processor, which consumes 30-times less power than a typical PC notebook and delivers dazzling performance.
Tokyo Tech builds Tsubame, the first Tesla GPU-based supercomputer to land on the list of the world's Top 500 supercomputers.
mental images, a leader in visual rendering software, is acquired. Its iray software, coupled with Quadro GPUs, gives creative professionals instant feedback via photorealistic renderings of their designs.
AGEIA, a developer of gaming physics technology, is acquired. Its PhysX software is used in games to replicate how physics impacts objects in the physical world.
GeForce 9400M GPU is adopted by Apple for its groundbreaking MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air notebooks.
- NVIDIA works with Google to unleash Android on its Tegra processors.
NVIDIA and Siemens Healthcare create the world's first 3D ultrasound.
Industrial Light and Magic's chief technology officer, Richard Kerris, kicks off the inaugural GPU Technology Conference, which gathers the brightest minds in high performance computing. NVIDIA uses the event to introduce its next generation CUDA GPU architecture, codenamed "Fermi."
3D Vision, the world's first high-definition 3D stereo solution for the home, is launched at CES.
- NVIDIA Tesla GPUs power world's fastest supercomputer, China's Tianhe-1A.
NVIDIA GPUs power all "Best Visual Effects" Academy Award nominees, including Avatar and Star Trek.
Introduction of Optimus technology, a breakthrough for notebook PCs that automatically manages the GPU to balance battery life and performance.
Audi selects NVIDIA GPUs to power the navigation and entertainment systems in all its vehicles worldwide.
- NVIDIA launches Tegra 2, the world's first dual-core mobile processor, which the first Android tablets are built on.
NVIDIA acquires Icera, enabling it to offer both application and baseband processors, the two most important in mobile computing.
A six-year cross-licensing agreement with Intel wins NVIDIA $1.5 billion in licensing fees.
Quadro GPUs again power all Academy Award nominees for "Best Visual Effects," including Inception and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
"Project Denver," a custom CPU based on the ultra-efficient ARM architecture, is unveiled at CES.
NVIDIA ships its 1 billionth graphics processor.
- Oak Ridge National Laboratory rolls out Titan, world's top supercomputer, powered by Kepler-based NVIDIA Tesla GPUs.
Powerful Tegra 3-based tablets and smartphones are launched.
Newsweek names NVIDIA sixth-greenest company in America.
First virtualized GPU unveiled, as GRID brings graphics to the cloud.
NVIDIA once again powers every Oscar-nominated film for best visual effects, including the winner Hugo.
Kepler-based GeForce GTX 600 series introduced, offering world's fastest gaming performance.
- Tegra Note, a complete tablet platform with groundbreaking stylus and camera capabilities, hits retail.
Tegra 4, world's fastest quad-core mobile processor, and Tegra 4i, NVIDIA's first fully integrated 4G LTE mobile processor, are announced.
NVIDIA SHIELD introduced, the ultimate gaming and entertainment portable.
The Portland Group is acquired, advancing NVIDIA's creation of developer tools for the accelerated-computing revolution.
GeForce GTX TITAN launched for gamers, built with the same DNA as the world's #1 supercomputer.
NVIDIA GRID Visual Computing Appliance unveiled, delivering ultra-fast GPU performance to nearly any device on small business networks.