Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) have revolutionized computing and become integral to many cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, cryptocurrencies, gaming, and more. As visual computing demands grow, GPUs continue getting more powerful and specialized.
The GPU market is dominated by a handful of companies that design and manufacture these chips. In this blog post, we will look at the 10 largest GPU companies in the world and explore what each one does.
What Are GPUs?
GPUs or Graphics Processing Units are specialized electronic circuits designed to rapidly process and manipulate memory to accelerate the creation of images intended for output to a display. They were initially designed for rendering graphics and visual effects in video games, computer-aided design (CAD), and other graphics-intensive applications.
However, the highly parallel structure of GPUs also makes them efficient for nongraphical calculations like neural network training, cryptocurrency mining, and scientific simulations. Modern GPUs are very efficient at manipulating computer graphics and image processing. Their highly parallel structure makes them more effective than general-purpose CPUs for algorithms where processing of large blocks of data is done in parallel.
Some key differences between CPUs and GPUs are:
Architecture: GPUs have a massively parallel architecture with hundreds or thousands of smaller, efficient cores optimized for handling multiple tasks simultaneously. In contrast, CPUs have just a few large cores optimized for sequential serial processing.
Memory: GPUs have high-bandwidth video memory optimized for graphics workloads. CPUs rely on general-purpose RAM.
Speed: GPUs can process trillions of floating-point operations per second (FLOPS) while CPUs manage billions of FLOPS.
Cost: High-end GPUs are more expensive than CPUs but deliver much higher performance per dollar for parallel workloads.
The 10 Largest GPU Companies
Let‘s look at the 10 biggest companies manufacturing GPUs globally based on their market capitalization and revenue.
Market Cap: $495 billion
Revenue: $26.91 billion (2021)
Nvidia is the world‘s largest GPU designer and manufacturer, dominating the graphics card market. Founded in 1993 and headquartered in Santa Clara, California, Nvidia pioneered GPU computing by introducing the first GPU in 1999. It has remained a leader in visual computing and accelerated computing.
Nvidia GPUs are used for gaming, professional visualization, data center acceleration, self-driving vehicles, and more. Some of its most popular product lines include:
GeForce: High-performance GPUs for gaming and pro graphics.
Quadro: Visual computing platform for designers, engineers, and modelers.
Tesla: GPU accelerators for AI, HPC, and big data analytics.
Tegra: Energy-efficient GPUs for mobile computing devices.
DRIVE: AI platform for autonomous vehicles.
Nvidia also offers development platforms like CUDA and programming tools like Nsight to support software developers. The company is focused on dominating AI infrastructure and autonomous driving technology.
Market Cap: $199 billion
Revenue: $79.02 billion (2021)
Intel is the world‘s largest semiconductor chip manufacturer. Founded in 1968 and based in Santa Clara, California, Intel supplies processors found in most personal computers and servers worldwide.
Though best known for its x86 CPUs, Intel has a strong presence in the GPU market through the following product lines:
Intel UHD Graphics: Integrated GPUs on Intel CPUs for mainstream computing.
Intel Iris Xe Graphics: Discrete GPUs for gaming and content creation.
Intel Arc Graphics: Upcoming high-performance discrete GPUs for PC gaming.
Intel GPUs are focused on the mid-range PC gaming segment. The company is investing heavily in software support and AI capabilities for its graphics lineup. Intel recently acquired Habana Labs to strengthen its AI portfolio.
3. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
Market Cap: $164 billion
Revenue: $16.43 billion (2021)
AMD is Intel‘s biggest rival, offering processors and discrete GPUs for PCs, servers, and gaming consoles. Founded in 1969 and based in Santa Clara, California, AMD‘s products are geared towards high-performance computing.
AMD‘s graphics products include:
Radeon Graphics: High-performance discrete GPUs for gaming, multimedia, and content creation.
AMD RDNA: Radeon graphics architecture focused on real-time ray tracing and AI.
AMD FidelityFX: Suite of visual enhancement tools for game developers.
Semi-Custom Graphics: Custom GPUs for gaming consoles like the Sony PS5 and Microsoft Xbox Series X.
AMD powers some of the world‘s fastest supercomputers and provides processors for major gaming consoles. The company has strengthened its position in the GPU market through strategic acquisitions like ATI Technologies.
Market Cap: $161 billion
Revenue: $33.57 billion (2021)
Qualcomm is a global semiconductor leader specializing in wireless technologies, mobile processors, and 5G infrastructure. Headquartered in San Diego, California, Qualcomm designs mobile SoCs (System-on-Chips) integrating its Snapdragon central processing units (CPUs) with Adreno graphics processing units (GPUs).
Key products include:
Snapdragon SoCs: Highly integrated chips with CPU, GPU, DSP, ISP, AI Engine, and modem for mobile devices.
Adreno GPUs: Power-efficient mobile graphics tailored for Snapdragon processors.
Snapdragon Elite Gaming: Platform for high-performance gaming on mobile.
Qualcomm GPUs excel in feature-packed graphics, efficient power consumption, and AI processing for the latest games and apps. Flagship Adreno GPUs can now rival the performance of mid-range desktop GPUs.
Market Cap: $211 billion
Revenue: $27.45 billion (2021)
Broadcom is a renowned designer of high-performance semiconductor and infrastructure software solutions. Headquartered in San Jose, California, Broadcom‘s products serve the data center, networking, enterprise storage, and industrial markets.
Broadcom entered the GPU market after acquiring Brocade Communication Systems‘ Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapter (HBA) business, which manufactures FC-HBA adapters featuring integrated GPUs. Broadcom is focused on adding GPU acceleration to strengthen its data center solutions.
Key GPU products include:
Brocade Gen 7 FC-HBA adapters: Accelerates analytics, ML, databases, HPC, and NVMe workloads.
Open-NGC family of SmartNICs: Combines GPUs, NPUs, and Ethernet for 5G infrastructure.
With its massive resources and strategic acquisitions, Broadcom is poised to deliver high-performance and specialized GPU solutions for next-gen data centers and networks.
6. Samsung Electronics
Market Cap: $370 billion
Revenue: $197 billion (2021)
South Korean conglomerate Samsung is the world leader in memory chips, smartphones, and other consumer electronics. Their semiconductor division, part of Samsung Electronics, makes the Exynos mobile processors and Mali GPUs used in Samsung Galaxy smartphones.
Key Samsung GPU products include:
Mali GPUs: Mobile GPUs integrated into Exynos application processors.
AMD RDNA 2-powered GPUs: Collaboration with AMD for upcoming Exynos GPUs.
Samsung‘s Mali GPUs power the graphics in their Exynos mobile chips. They have partnered with AMD to license high-performance RDNA 2 graphics architecture for future Exynos processors targeted at mobile gaming and machine learning.
Market Cap: $2.5 trillion
Revenue: $378.35 billion (2021)
Apple is best known for its leadership in premium consumer electronics like the iPhone smartphone and Mac computers. Apple uses custom-designed processors and GPUs tailored for its products.
Key Apple GPUs include:
Apple-designed GPUs: Integrated into SoCs like the A-series, M-series, and S-series chips.
Apple M1 and M2 chips: Latest Apple silicon with up to 10-core integrated GPUs.
The graphics cores in Apple‘s silicon combine high performance with power efficiency. Features like the Neural Engine accelerate machine learning tasks. Apple‘s tight integration of hardware and software results in optimized performance across its product lineup.
Market Cap: $40 billion
Revenue: $17.7 billion (2021)
MediaTek is a fabless semiconductor company headquartered in Taiwan. MediaTek designs chips for smartphones, smart TVs, Wi-Fi routers, IoT devices, and other electronics.
For graphics, MediaTek offers:
Arm Mali GPUs: Main graphics technology integrated into MediaTek SoCs.
MediaTek HyperEngine: Tools and technologies to optimize gaming performance.
MediaTek powers affordable Android smartphones and Chromebooks worldwide with its SoCs containing Mali GPUs. MediaTek also works closely with game developers to enhance graphics quality and efficiency on devices using their chips.
9. Imagination Technologies
Market Cap: $1.5 billion
Revenue: $402 million (2022)
Imagination Technologies is a British semiconductor IP (intellectual property) company designing graphics and AI accelerator cores. Their PowerVR GPUs and AI IP are licensed and customized by leading global electronics brands.
Key products include:
PowerVR GPUs: Scalable GPUs for mobile, automotive, and other embedded electronics.
IMG Series4/5/8 neural network accelerators: Optimized AI processing IP cores.
Over 5 billion chips have shipped with Imagination‘s IP. PowerVR GPUs have powered Apple‘s A-series chips in iPhones and iPads for years. Imagination‘s IP helps clients build graphics, vision, and AI capabilities into smart connected systems.
Market Cap: Private
Revenue: $200 million (estimated)
Matrox is a privately held Canadian company designing specialized GPUs for professional markets like graphics, vision, and video editing. Founded in 1976, Matrox builds high-quality GPUs and video hardware renowned for stability, image quality, and technical support.
Matrox GPU offerings include:
Matrox Video walls: Multi-monitor controllers for finance, security, and process control.
Matrox Graphics eSeries: Graphics cards for 2D and 3D design visualization.
Matrox Imaging Library: Software tools for computer vision development.
Matrox caters to OEMs seeking robust, long-life-cycle GPU platforms for critical commercial deployments rather than consumer gaming usage.
GPUs have become vital to delivering visually rich and immersive experiences in consumer and professional applications. As AI, graphics, virtual reality, and related workloads grow, demand for specialized high-performance GPUs from these leading vendors will continue rising.
Nvidia leads the discrete GPU market by a wide margin, catering to gaming enthusiasts, data scientists, and more. Intel and AMD are its main competitors in the PC processor and graphics market. Companies like Qualcomm, Samsung, Apple, and MediaTek design mobile SoCs and GPUs powering billions of smartphones and other smart devices globally.
With emerging segments like cloud gaming and the metaverse gaining traction, the GPU market is poised for massive growth in the years ahead as these companies innovate with newer architectures, advanced manufacturing, and software ecosystems. Exciting times lie ahead as GPUs help power more immersive and intuitive computing experiences and push the boundaries of what‘s possible with silicon.