Chief executive officer of Nvidia Corp. said in an interview that although Nvidia is known for its graphics processing units (GPUs), Nvidia is a software company. While the claims seems to be a little strange, it outlines the direction that Nvidia plans to invest in: software applications that leverage take advantage of Nvidia’s chips and offer exclusive capabilities.
“Nvidia is a software company, [software] will be what will drive our growth. We just don’t write the application, but we create all the core technology, we create more core technology for visual computing than any other company in the world. […] What you are and how you make money doesn’t have to be the same. […] Apple is a software company but they make money by selling hardware. […] Nvidia is an integrated complete visual computing and parallel computing solution technology company,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, chief executive officer of Nvidia, in an interview with CHW web-site.
At present Nvidia offers GeForce graphics processor that support rather traditional features like those supported by DirectX, OpenGL, OpenCL, etc application programming interfaces. However, in addition Nvidia also offers rather exclusive features, such as Stereo 3D Vision and PhysX for gamers as well as CUDA-exclusive applications for consumers. Although neither of the technologies seem to have become truly important in general, Nvidia does hope that going forward its exclusive features will drive consumers towards GeForce-branded products.
It is rather noteworthy that previously Mr. Huang has always pointed that it cost hundreds of millions of dollars to create a leading-edge graphics processing unit and only Nvidia was capable of investing that large sum of money.
At present Nvidia is mostly known for its GeForce graphics cards for gamers as well as Quadro graphics cards for professionals. However, the company is working hard to promotes its Tesla products among scientists or high-performance computing professionals as well as Tegra devices among users of portable consumer electronics. Apparently, according to Mr. Huang, Nvidia’s strategy is to offer exclusive software features for those markets as well.
“In the future, software is the most important thing; anyone can make chips, it is really expensive, but anyone can do it. The hard part is to inspire people to create amazing things. We have software, systems, architecture, tools, compilers, and languages, whatever it takes…,” said Mr. Huang.