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Nvidia is a technology company based in Santa Clara, California. It was founded in 1993 by Chris Malachowsky, Curtis Preim and Jen-Hsun Huang, the current CEO. Nvidia is focused on three markets: gaming, professional visualization in films and computing/data centers. Nvidia claims that their product, GeForce 256, as the first GPU or graphics processing unit. Although it was not the first GPU — every computer has a GPU of some sort — the GeForce 256 was the first GPU available directly to consumers. It was the first device to offer transformation and lighting as part of a consumer graphics system. The release of the GeForce 256 won Nvidia a contract to develop hardware for the Xbox. In 2000, Nvidia began acquiring other hardware manufacturers. This would lead to the company being subpoenaed for possible antitrust violations in 2006.
Nvidia is primarily focused on gaming. However, they are much more focused on mobile and PC gaming than on the game consoles of their past. They are also well known for their program Quadro, which is a visualization program. For 5 years in a row as of 2015, every film nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects used the Quadro program to create their effects. Nvidia went public in 1999. It employs nearly 9,000 people and brings in about $4 billion in revenue each year.