Starting with a focus on PC graphics, NVIDIA invented the GPU to solve some of the most complex problems in computer science. We have extended our emphasis in recent years to the revolutionary field of artificial intelligence, or AI.
The GPU was initially used to simulate human imagination, enabling the virtual worlds of video games and films. Today, it also simulates human intelligence, enabling a deeper understanding of the physical world. Its parallel processing capabilities, supported by up to thousands of computing cores, are essential to running deep learning algorithms. This form of AI, in which software writes itself, enables computers to learn from data and serve as the brain of computers, robots and self-driving cars that can perceive and understand the world. GPU-powered deep learning is being rapidly adopted by thousands of enterprises to deliver services and features that would have been impossible with traditional coding.
NVIDIA delivers value to its customers through PC, mobile and cloud architectures. Vertical integration enables us to bring together hardware, system software, programmable algorithms, libraries, systems and services to create unique value for the markets we serve. Offerings like the NVIDIA DGX AI supercomputer, the NVIDIA DRIVE AI car computing platform and the GeForce NOW cloud gaming service bring together combinations of the company’s hardware, software and services to meet the exacting demands of specific audiences.
Innovation is at our core. We have invested over $13 billion in research and development since our inception, yielding inventions that are essential to modern computing. The GPU introduced the world to the power of programmable graphics. Our CUDA programming language harnessed the GPU’s parallel processing capabilities to accelerate scientific and AI computing. Virtualized GPUs put the power of parallel processing into the cloud, accessible from any connected device, anywhere. Other breakthroughs in our evolving GPU architectures and related technologies enable GPUs to be more powerful and efficient, and to fuel more powerful AI workloads with deep learning capabilities.
Gamers choose NVIDIA GPUs to enjoy immersive, increasingly cinematic fantasy worlds. GPUs also help underpin the world’s fastest growing spectator sport, eSports, which attracts hundreds of millions of viewers to watch top-quality gaming. And more than 100 million people participate in MOBA -multiplayer online battle area -games.
Professional designers use our GPUs to create visual effects in movies and design products ranging from soft drink bottles to commercial aircraft.
Researchers use our GPUs to accelerate a wide range of important applications, from simulating viruses to exploring the origins of the universe. The world’s leading cloud services companies, and a rapidly growing number of enterprises and startups, use GPUs to facilitate deep learning that meets, and in some cases surpasses, human perception.
Our GPU product brands are aimed at specialized markets including GeForce for gamers; Quadro for designers; Tesla and DGX for AI data scientists and big data researchers; and GRID for cloud-based visual computing users. Our Tegra brand integrates an entire computer onto a single chip, and incorporates GPUs and multi-core CPUs to drive supercomputing for mobile gaming and entertainment devices, as well as autonomous robots, drones and cars.
Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, NVIDIA was incorporated in California in April 1993 and reincorporated in Delaware in April 1998.
Our two reportable segments -GPU and Tegra Processor -are based on a single underlying architecture. From our proprietary processors, we have created platforms that address four large markets where our expertise is critical: Gaming, Professional Visualization, Datacenter, and Automotive.
Businesses NVIDIA Visual Computing and Accelerated Computing Platforms and Brands
GPU · GeForce for PC gaming
GeForce NOW for cloud-based game-streaming service
Quadro for design professionals working in computer-aided design, video editing, specialeffects and other creative applications
Tesla for AI utilizing deep learning and accelerated computing, leveraging the parallelcomputing capabilities of GPUs for general purpose computing
GRID to provide the power of NVIDIA graphics through the cloud and datacenters
Tegra Processor · Tegra processors are primarily designed to enable branded platforms -DRIVE PX and SHIELD
DRIVE PX automotive supercomputers that provide self-driving capabilities
SHIELD includes a family of devices and services designed to harness the power of mobile-cloud to revolutionize home entertainment, AI and gaming
We specialize in markets in which GPU-based visual computing and accelerated computing platforms can provide tremendous throughput for applications. These platforms incorporate processors, systems software, programmable algorithms, systems and services to deliver value that is unique in the marketplace.
Computer gaming is the largest entertainment industry. Helping to propel its growth are the new high production value games and franchises, the rise of competitive online gaming, eSports, and the rise of virtual reality.
Our GPUs enhance the gaming experience by improving the visual quality of graphics, increasing the frame rate for smoother gameplay and improving realism by incorporating the behavior of light and physical objects. These can be enjoyed independently or together to extend the gaming experience across platforms.
Our gaming platforms utilize sophisticated 3D software and algorithms -including our GameWorks libraries that provide special effects for games. These enable us to deliver realism and immersion, even when playing games remotely from the cloud. We further enhance gaming with GeForce Experience, our gaming application that optimizes the PC user’s settings for each title and enables players to record and share gameplay. It has been downloaded by more than 80 million users.
To enable virtual reality, we provide developers with a suite of software libraries called VRWorks. VRWorks allows developers to create fully immersive experiences by enabling physically realistic visuals, sound, touch interactions and simulated environments. VR requires advanced high-performance GPUs as the engine to simulate complete immersion.
Our products for the gaming market include GeForce GTX GPUs for PC gaming; the SHIELD family of tablets, portable devices for mobile gaming and TV streaming; GeForce NOW for cloud-based gaming; as well as platforms and development services for specialized console gaming devices.
We serve the Professional Visualization market by working closely with independent software vendors to optimize their offerings for NVIDIA GPUs. Our GPU computing solutions enhance productivity and introduce new capabilities for critical parts of the workflow for such major industries as automotive, media and entertainment, architectural engineering, oil and gas, and medical imaging.
For designers who build the products we use every day, it is critical that images viewed digitally mirror reality. This requires simulating the physical behavior of light and materials, or physically-based rendering, an emerging trend in professional design. Our Iray and DesignWorks software delivers this to designers. They enable an architect designing a building with a computer-aided design package to interact with the model in real time, view it in greater detail, and generate photorealistic renderings for the client. They also allow an automotive designer to create a highly realistic 3D image of a car, which can be viewed from all angles, reducing reliance on costly, time-consuming full-scale clay models.
Just as virtual reality is becoming more important in gaming, it is also being incorporated in a growing number of enterprise applications, within medicine, architecture, product design and retailing. Virtual car showrooms, surgical training, architectural walkthroughs, and bringing historical scenes to life all deploy this technology, powered by our GPUs.
Visual computing is vital to productivity in many environments, including:
Design and Manufacturing -including computer-aided design, architectural design, consumer-products manufacturing, medical instrumentation and aerospace
Digital Content Creation -including professional video editing and post production, special effects for films and broadcast-television graphics
Our brand for this market is Quadro for workstations. Quadro GPUs enhance the productivity of designers by improving performance and adding functionality, such as photorealistic rendering, high color fidelity and advanced scalable display capabilities.
The NVIDIA accelerated computing platform addresses AI, in which systems learn using unstructured data, and high performance computing, in which it speeds work toward reaching answers for more narrowly defined problems.The platform consists of our energy efficient GPUs, our CUDAprogramming language, specific libraries such as cuDNN, and innovations such as NVLink, which enables application scalability across multiple GPUs.
Deep learning is a new AI computer model where neural networks are trained to recognize patterns from massive amounts of data in the form of images, sounds and text -in some instances better than humans. It also greatly increases the performance and power efficiency of high-performance computers and datacenter systems. GPUs excel at parallel workloads, speeding applications by 10-75x compared with CPUs, reducing each of the many data training iterations from weeks to days. In the past year alone, GPUs have sped up training of deep neural networks for AI by as much as 12x.
We are engaged with thousands of organizations working on AI in a multitude of industries, from automating tasks such as reading medical images, to surveying coral on the sea bottom, to identifying the physical world for the blind. These organizations include the world’s leading cloud services companies such as Facebook,Amazon and Baidu, which are infusing AI in applications that enable highly accurate voice recognition and real-time translation; enterprises that are increasingly turning to AI to improve products and services; and startups seeking to implement AI in disruptive ways across multiple industries. We have partnered with industry leaders such as Microsoft, IBM and SAP to bring AI to enterprise users. We also have partnerships in healthcare and manufacturing, among others, to accelerate the adoption of AI.
To enable deep learning, we provide a family of GPUs designed to speed up training and inferencing of neural networks.
They are available in industry standard servers from companies such as HP, Dell and Cisco; from cloud services such as Amazon Web Services,Alicloud,Azure and Google Cloud; as well as in our DGXAI supercomputer, a purpose-built system for deep learning and AI accelerated analytics. DGX delivers performance equal to hundreds of conventional servers, comes fully integrated with hardware, deep learning software, development tools, support for existing AI frameworks, and runs popular accelerated analytics applications.
GPUs also increase the speed of applications used in such fields as aerospace, bio-science research, mechanical and fluid simulations, and energy exploration. They have already had a significant impact on scientific discovery, including improving heart surgery, HIV research and mapping human genome folds. Our GPUs and cuDNN software have been broadly adopted for deep learning, a new computing method for enabling artificial intelligence.
Accelerated computing is recognized as the path forward for high performance computing amid the slowing of Moore’s Law. The proportion of supercomputers utilizing accelerators has grown sharply over the past five years, now accounting for a significant proportion of both the total systems on the TOP500 list, which ranks the 500 most powerful commercially available computer systems, and the list’s total floating-point operations per second. Tesla GPU accelerators power many of the world’s fastest supercomputers. They will also drive the U.S. Energy Department’s next generation of supercomputers at Oak Ridge and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories.
We also serve the datacenter market with GRID for virtualized graphics. GRID makes it possible to run graphics-intensive applications remotely on a server in the datacenter.Applications include accelerating virtual desktop infrastructures and delivering graphics-intensive applications from the cloud for industries ranging from manufacturing, healthcare and educational institutions, among others.
NVIDIA has demonstrated multiple applications of AI within the car. AI can drive the car itself as a pilot, in either partialorfullyautonomousmode. Also,AIcanbeaco-pilot,assistingthehumandriverincreatingasaferdrivingexperience. NVIDIA is working with automotive partners to enable AI pilot and co-pilot within the car.
NVIDIA is working with numerous automakers, tier-one suppliers, automotive research institutions, HD mapping companies, and startups to develop and deploy AI systems for self-driving vehicles. Our unified AI computing architecture starts with mapping and training deep neural networks using our Tesla GPUs, and then running them within the vehicle on the NVIDIA DRIVE PX AI car computing platform. This end-to-end approach leverages NVIDIA DriveWorks software and allows cars to receive over-the-air updates to add new features and capabilities throughout the life of a vehicle.
DRIVE PX can understand in real-time what’s happening around the vehicle, precisely locate itself on an HD map, and plan a safe path forward. This advanced self-driving car platform combines deep learning, sensor fusion and surround vision to change the driving experience. Our DRIVE PX platform scales from a palm-sized, energy efficient module forAutoCruise automated highway-driving capabilities to a configuration with multiple systems aimed at enabling driverless cars. A new single-processor configuration of DRIVE PX enables vehicles to use deep neural networks to process data from multiple cameras and sensors.
We also see the opportunity for Tegra in other areas, such as robots that respond to voice and gesture commands; drones that process enormous amounts of visual-based data; and smart Android monitors. Our platform for embedded use, Jetson TX1, provides the performance and power efficiency needed for deep learning in a powerful, highly efficient environment.
NVIDIA’s key strategies that shape our overall business approach include:
Extending our technology leadership in AI. Deep learning is fundamental to the evolution of AI. We provide a complete, end-to-end GPU computing platform for deep learning, addressing both training and inferencing. This includes GPUs, our CUDA programming language, algorithms, libraries and system software. GPUs are uniquely suited to AI, and we will continue to add AI-specific features to our GPU architecture to further extend our leadership position. Our goal is to make our GPU platforms available on every server, on every cloud service, as well as on our own AI supercomputer. We evangelize AI through partnerships with hundreds of universities and more than a thousand startups through our Inception program. Additionally, our Deep Learning Institute provides instruction on the latest techniques on how to design, train, and deploy neural network-powered machine learning in applications. It covers widely used open-source frameworks and NVIDIA’s latest GPU-accelerated deep learning platforms.
Revolutionizingcomputingwith the GPU’sparallel processing capability.The massive parallel processing capabilities of NVIDIA GPUs can solve complex computational problems in significantly less time and with lower power consumption than CPUs. We work with developers worldwide who write programs using the CUDA high-level programming language. Using GPUs, developers are able to accelerate applications in areas ranging from molecular dynamics to image processing, derivatives modeling for financial risk analysis and big-data analytics.
Extending our technology leadership in visual computing. We believe that visual computing is fundamental to the continued expansion and evolution of computing. We apply our research and development resources to extending our leadership in visual computing, enabling us to enhance the user experience for consumer entertainment and professional visualization applications. Our technologies are instrumental in driving forward gaming, as developers push toward increasingly cinematic production values and the possibilities opened up by virtual reality.
Extending our visual computing leadership into mobile and cloud-computing platforms. We believe that visual computing will remain a key component in the computing paradigm defined by mobile, cloud and software as a service. We enable interactive graphics applications -such as games, movie and photo editing and design software -to be accessed by almost any device, almost anywhere. We believe that the user experience in virtual desktop infrastructures should be indistinguishable from physical environments, regardless of how graphics intensive the application. Accordingly, we leverage our research and development resources to create platforms to enable visual computing in a mobile and cloud environment.
Licensing our intellectual property. We believe our intellectual property is a valuable asset that can be accessed by our customers and partners through licenses and development agreements when they desire to build such capabilities directly into their own products, or have us do so through a custom development. Such license and development arrangements can further enhance the reach of our technology.
Enabling GPU computing platforms in key focus areas. We believe that we are well positioned to use our expertise in GPU computing to make contributions in four key markets where our visual and accelerated computing expertise is valued: gaming, professional visualization, datacenter and automotive.
Sales and Marketing
Our sales strategy involves working with end customers and various industry ecosystems through our partner network. Ourworldwide sales and marketing strategy is key to achieving our objective of providing markets with our high-performance and efficient GPU, and embedded system-on-a-chip, or SOC, platforms. Our sales and marketing teams, located across our global markets, work closely with end customers in each industry. Our partner network incorporates each industry’s respective original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, original device manufacturers, or ODMs, system builders, add-in board manufacturers, or AIBs, retailers/distributors, and industry trendsetters.
Our end customers and partner network are leveraged to integrate product features, performance, price and timing of new products for our platforms. Members of our sales team have a high level of technical expertise and product and industry knowledge to support the competitive and complex design win process. We also employ a highly skilled team of application engineers to assist our partner network in designing, testing and qualifying system designs that incorporate our platforms. We believe that the depth and quality of our design support are keys to improving our partner network’s time-to-market, maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction and fostering relationships that encourage our end customers and partner network to use the next generation of our products within each platform.
As a result of our partner network strategy, a small number of customers within that network represent the majority of our sold to revenue. Sales to ASUSTeK Computer Inc. accounted for 12% of our total revenue for fiscal year 2017.
To encourage software title developers and publishers to develop games optimized for platforms utilizing our products, and enterprise applications optimized for our GPUs, we seek to establish and maintain strong relationships in the software development community. Engineering and marketing personnel interact with and visit key software developers to promote and discussour platforms, as well as to ascertainindividual product requirements and solvetechnical problems.Ourdeveloper program makes certain that our products are available to developers prior to volume availability in order to encourage the development of AI frameworks, SDKs, and APIs for software applications and game titles that are optimized for our platforms.
As NVIDIA’s business has evolved from a focus primarily on gaming products to broader markets, and from chips to platforms and complete systems, so, too, have our avenues to market. Thus, in addition to sales to customers in our partner network, certain of our platforms are also sold through e-tail channels and through some of the world’s largest retailers.
Our sales are primarily made pursuant to standard purchase orders. The quantity of products purchased by our customers as well as our shipment schedules are subject to revisions that reflect changes in both the customers’ requirements and in manufacturing availability. Our industry is characterized by relatively short lead time orders and delivery schedules, thus, we believe that only a small portion of our backlog is non-cancelable and that the dollar amount associated with the noncancelable portion is not significant.
Our GPU and Tegra processor platforms serve many markets from consumer PC gaming to enterprise workstations to government and service provider cloud datacenters; however, a majority of our revenue stems from the consumer industry. Our consumer products have typically seen stronger revenue in the second half of our fiscal year. However, there can be no assurance that this trend will continue.
We do not directly manufacture semiconductor wafers used for our products. Instead, we utilize what is known as a fabless manufacturing strategy, whereby we employ world-class suppliers for all phases of the manufacturing process, including wafer fabrication, assembly, testing, and packaging. This strategy uses the expertise of industry-leading suppliers that are certified by the International Organization for Standardization in such areas as fabrication, assembly, quality control and assurance, reliability and testing. In addition, this strategy allows us to avoid many of the significant costs and risks associated with owning and operating manufacturing operations. While we may directly procure certain raw materials used in the production of our products, such as substrates and a variety of components, our suppliers are responsible for procurement of the majority of the raw materials used in the production of our products. As a result, we can focus our resources on product design, additional quality assurance, marketing, and customer support.
We utilize industry-leading suppliers, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, to produce our semiconductor wafers. We then utilize independent subcontractors, such as Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, Inc., BYD Auto Co. Ltd., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., JSI Logistics Ltd., King Yuan Electronics Co., Ltd. and Siliconware Precision Industries Company Ltd. to perform assembly, testing, and packaging of most of our products and platforms. We purchase substrates from IbidenCo. Ltd., Nanya Technology Corporation, and Unimicron Technology Corporation, and memory from Samsung Semiconductor, Inc. and SK Hynix.
We typically receive semiconductor products from our subcontractors, perform incoming quality assurance and then ship the semiconductors to contract equipment manufacturers, or CEMs, distributors, motherboard and AIB customers from our third-party warehouse in Hong Kong. Generally, these manufacturers assemble and test the boards based on our design kit and test specifications, and then ship our products to retailers, system builders or OEMs as motherboard andAIB solutions.
We also utilize industry-leading contract manufacturers, or CMs, such as BYD Auto Co. Ltd. and Quanta Computer, to manufacture some of our products for sale directly to end customers. In those cases, key elements such as the GPU, SOC and memory are often consigned by us to the CMs, who are responsible for the procurement of other components used in the production process.
We focus considerable attention on managing our inventories and other working-capital-related items. We manage inventories by communicating with our customers and partners and then using our industry experience to forecast demand on a platform-by-platform basis. We then place manufacturing orders for our products that are based on forecasted demand. The quantity of products actually purchased by our customers as well as shipment schedules are subject to revisions that reflect changes in both the customers’ requirements and in manufacturing availability. We generally maintain substantial inventories of our products because the semiconductor industry is characterized by short lead time orders and quick delivery schedules. A substantial amount of our inventories are maintained as semi-finished products that can be leveraged across a wide range of our processors to balance our customer demands.
Our existing cash and marketable securities balances increased by 35% to $6.80 billion at the end of fiscal year 2017 compared with the end of fiscal year 2016. We believe that our existing cash balances and anticipated cash flows from operations will be sufficient to meet our operating requirements for at least the next twelve months.
Research and Development
We believe that the continued introduction of new and enhanced products designed to deliver leading visual computing technology is essential to our future success. Our research and development strategy is to focus on concurrently developing multiple generations of GPUs and Tegra Processors, including GPUs for high-performance computing, and Tegra SOCs for SHIELD and other embedded products using independent design teams. Our research and development efforts include software engineering, hardware engineering, very large scale integration design engineering, process engineering, architecture and algorithms.
A critical component of our product development effort is our partnerships with industry leaders. We invest significant resources in the development of relationships with industry leaders, often assisting these companies in the product definition of their new products. We believe that forming these relationships and utilizing next-generation development tools to design, simulate and verify our products will help us remain at the forefront of visual computing and develop products that utilize leading-edge technology on a rapid basis. We believe in leveraging our significant research and development depth and scale to create differentiated products.
As of January 29, 2017, we had 7,282 full-time employees engaged in research and development. During fiscal years 2017, 2016 and 2015, we incurred research and development expenses of $1.46 billion, $1.33 billion, and $1.36 billion, respectively.
The market for our products is intensely competitive and is characterized by rapid technological change and evolving industry standards. We believe that the principal competitive factors in this market are performance, breadth of product offerings, access to customers and partners and distribution channels, software support, conformity to industry standard Application Programming Interfaces, manufacturing capabilities, processor pricing and total system costs. We believe that our ability to remain competitive will depend on how well we are able to anticipate the features and functions that customers and partners will demand and whether we are able to deliver consistent volumes of our products at acceptable levels of quality and at competitive prices. We expect competition to increase from both existing competitors and new market entrants with products that may be less costly than ours, or may provide better performance or additional features not provided by our products. In addition, it is possible that new competitors or alliances among competitors could emerge and acquire significant market share.
A significant source of competition comes from companies that provide or intend to provide GPUs, embedded SOCs, and accelerated and AI computing processor products. Some of our competitors may have greater marketing, financial, distribution and manufacturing resources than we do and may be more able to adapt to customer or technological changes.
Our current competitors include:
suppliers of or licensors of discrete and integrated GPUs and accelerated computing processing solutions, including chipsets that incorporate 3D graphics functionality as part of their existing solutions, such as Advanced Micro Devices, orAMD,ARM Holdings plc, Imagination Technologies Group plc, Intel Corporation, or Intel, and Xilinx, Inc.; and
suppliers of SOC products that are embedded into automobiles and smart devices such as televisions, monitors, set-top boxes, and gaming devices, such as Ambarella, Inc., AMD, Apple, Inc., Broadcom Ltd., Intel, Mobileye N.V., Qualcomm Incorporated, Renesas Electronics Corporation, Samsung, and Texas Instruments Incorporated.
Patents and Proprietary Rights
We rely primarily on a combination of patents, trademarks, trade secrets, employee and third-party nondisclosure agreements and licensing arrangements to protect our intellectual property in the United States and internationally. Our currently issued patents have expiration dates from March 2017 to November 2035. We have numerous patents issued, allowed and pending in the United States and in foreign jurisdictions. Our patents and pending patent applications primarily relate to our products and the technology used in connection with our products. We also rely on international treaties, organizations and foreign laws to protect our intellectual property. The laws of certain foreign countries in which our products are or may be manufactured or sold, including various countries inAsia, may not protect our products or intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. This decreased protection makes the possibility of piracy of our technology and products more likely. We continuously assess whether and where to seek formal protection for particular innovations and technologies based on such factors as:
the location in which our products are manufactured;
• our strategic technology or product directions in different countries;
the degree to which intellectual property laws exist and are meaningfully enforced in different jurisdictions; and
the commercial significance of our operations and our competitors’ operations in particular countries and regions.
We have also licensed technology from third parties for incorporation in some of our products and for defensive reasons, and expect to continue to enter into such license agreements.
As of January 29, 2017, we had 10,299 employees, 7,282 of whom were engaged in research and development and 3,017 of whom were engaged in sales, marketing, operations and administrative positions.
Environmental Regulatory Compliance
To date, we have not incurred significant expenses related to environmental regulatory compliance matters.
Financial Information by Reporting Segment and Geographic Data
The information included in Note 16 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, including financial information by reportable segment and revenue and long-lived assets by geographic region, is hereby incorporated by reference. For additional detail regarding the risks attendant to our foreign operations see “Item 1A. Risk Factors -Risks Related to Our Business, Industry and Partners -We are subject to risks and uncertainties associated with international operations which may harm our business.”
Executive Officers of the Registrant
The following sets forth certain information regarding our executive officers, their ages and positions as of February 24, 2017:
Name Age Position
Jen-Hsun Huang 54 President, Chief Executive Officer and Director
Colette M. Kress 49 Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Ajay K. Puri 62 Executive Vice President, Worldwide Field Operations
Debora Shoquist 62 Executive Vice President, Operations
Timothy S. Teter 50 Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Jen-Hsun Huang co-founded NVIDIA in 1993 and has served as its President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors since its inception. From 1985 to 1993, Mr. Huang was employed at LSI Logic Corporation, a computer chip manufacturer, where he held a variety of positions including as Director of Coreware, the business unit responsible for LSI’s “system-on-chip”. From 1983 to 1985, Mr. Huang was a microprocessor designer for Advanced Micro Devices, Inc., a semiconductor company. Mr. Huang holds a B.S.E.E. degree from Oregon State University and an M.S.E.E. degree from Stanford University.
Colette M. Kress joined NVIDIA in 2013 as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to NVIDIA, Ms. Kress most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Business Technology and Operations Finance organization at Cisco Systems, Inc., a networking equipment company, since 2010. At Cisco, Ms. Kress was responsible for financial strategy, planning, reporting and business development for all business segments, engineering and operations. From 1997 to 2010 Ms. Kress held a variety of positions at Microsoft Corporation, a software company, including, beginning in 2006, Chief Financial Officer of the Server and Tools division, where Ms. Kress was responsible for financial strategy, planning, reporting and business development for the division. Prior to joining Microsoft, Ms. Kress spent eight years at Texas Instruments Incorporated, a semiconductor company, where she held a variety of finance positions. Ms. Kress holds a B.S. degree in Finance from University of Arizona and an M.B.A. degree from Southern Methodist University.
Ajay K. Puri joined NVIDIA in 2005 as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales and became Executive Vice President, Worldwide Field Operations in 2009. Prior to NVIDIA, he held positions in sales, marketing, and general management over a 22-year career at Sun Microsystems, Inc., a computing systems company. Mr. Puri previously held marketing, management consulting, and product development positions at Hewlett-Packard Company, an information technology company, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., a management and technology consulting company, and Texas Instruments Incorporated. Mr. Puri holds a B.S.E.E. degree from the University of Minnesota, an M.S.E.E. degree from the California Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School.
Debora Shoquist joined NVIDIA in 2007 as Senior Vice President of Operations and in 2009 became Executive Vice President of Operations. Her role has since expanded with responsibility added for Facilities in 2013, and for Information Technology in 2015. Prior to NVIDIA, Ms. Shoquist served from 2004 to 2007 as Executive Vice President of Operations at JDS Uniphase Corp., a provider of communications test and measurement solutions and optical products for the telecommunications industry. She served from 2002 to 2004 as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Electro-Optics business at Coherent, Inc., a manufacturer of commercial and scientific laser equipment. Previously, she worked at Quantum Corp., a data protection company, as President of the Personal Computer Hard Disk Drive Division, and at Hewlett-Packard Corp. Ms. Shoquist holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Kansas State University and a B.S. degree in Biology from Santa Clara University.
Timothy S. Teter joined NVIDIA in January 2017 as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary. Prior to NVIDIA, Mr. Teter spent more than two decades at the law firm of Cooley LLP. He was most recently a partner at Cooley, where he focused on litigating patent and technology related matters. Prior to attending law school, he worked as an engineer at Lockheed Missiles and Space Company. Mr. Teter holds a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California at Davis and a J.D. degree from Stanford Law School.
Our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and, if applicable, amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Securities ExchangeAct of 1934, as amended, are available free of charge on or through our web site, http://www.nvidia.com, as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC. Our web site and the information on it or connected to it are not a part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
In evaluating NVIDIA and our business, the following factors should be considered in addition to the other information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K. Before you buy our common stock, you should know that making such an investment involves risks including, but not limited to, the risks described below. Any one of the following risks could harm our business, financial condition and results of operations, which could cause our stock price to decline. Additional risks, trends and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also harm our business.
Risks Related to Our Business, Industry and Partners
If we fail to meet the evolving needs of our markets, identify new products, services or technologies, or successfully compete in our target markets, our revenue and financial results will be adversely impacted.
NVIDIA-branded solutions and services are visual computing and accelerated computing platforms that address four large markets: Gaming, Professional Visualization, Datacenter, and Automotive. Our success depends to a significant extent on our ability to meet the evolving needs of these markets and to enhance our existing products, services and technologies. In addition, our success depends on our ability to identify emerging industry trends and to develop new products, services and technologies. Our existing markets and products and new markets and products may require a considerable investment of technical, financial, compliance, sales and marketing resources. We are currently devoting significant resources to the development of technologies and business offerings in markets where our operating history is less extensive, such as the automotive market.
We cannot assure you that our strategic direction will result in innovative products and technologies that provide value to our customers and partners. If we fail to anticipate the changing needs of our target markets and emerging technology trends, or adapt that strategy as market conditions evolve, in a timely manner to exploit potential market opportunities our business will be harmed. In addition, if demand for products and services from these growth markets is below our expectations, if we fail to achieve consumer or market acceptance of them or if we are not able to develop these products and services in a cost effective or efficient manner, we may not realize benefits from our strategy.
Our target markets remain extremely competitive, and we expect competition to intensify as current competitors expand their product and/or service offerings, industry standards continue to evolve and new competitors enter these markets. If we are unable to successfully compete in our target markets, including in significant international markets such as China, demand for our products, services and technologies could decrease which would cause our revenue to decline and our financial results to suffer. Our competitors’ products, services and technologies may be less costly, or may offer superior functionality or different features, than ours. In addition, many of our competitors operate and maintain their own fabrication facilities and have longer operating histories, greater name recognition, larger customer bases, and greater financial, sales, marketing and distribution resources than we do. These competitors may be able to more effectively identify and capitalize upon opportunities in new markets and end user customer trends, quickly transition their semiconductor products to increasingly smaller line width geometries and obtain sufficient foundry capacity and packaging materials, which could harm our business. If we are unable to successfully compete in our target markets or introduce new offerings in light of the competitive environment, our results of operations could suffer.
If our products fail to achieve expected manufacturing yields, our financial results could be adversely impacted.
Manufacturing yields for our products are a function of product design, which is developed largely by us, and process technology, which typically is proprietary to the foundry. Low yields may result from either product design or process technology failure. We do not know whether a yield problem will exist until our design is actually manufactured by the foundry. As a result, yield problems may not be identified until well into the manufacturing process and require us and the foundry to cooperate to resolve the problem. Because of our potentially limited access to wafer foundry capacity, any decrease in manufacturing yields could result in higher manufacturing costs and require us to allocate our available product supply among our customers and partners. Lower than expected yields could harm customer or partner relationships and our financial results.
System security and data protection breaches, as well as cyber-attacks, could disrupt our operations, reduce our expected revenue and increase our expenses, which could adversely affect our stock price and damage our reputation.
Security breaches, computer malware and cyber-attacks have become more prevalent and sophisticated in recent years. These attacks have occurred on our systems in the past and are expected to occur in the future. Experienced computer programmers, hackers and employees may be able to penetrate our security controls and misappropriate or compromise our confidential information, or that of our employees or third parties. These attacks may create system disruptions or cause shutdowns. These hackers may also develop and deploy viruses, worms and other malicious software programs that attack or otherwise exploit security vulnerabilities in our products, including consumer and automotive products, where we utilize over-the-air updates to improve functionality over time. For portions of our ITinfrastructure, including business management and communication software products, we rely on products and services provided by third parties. These providers may also experience breaches and attacks to their products which may impact our systems. Data security breaches may also result from non-technical means, such as actions by an employee with access to our systems.
Actual or perceived breaches of our security measures or the accidental loss, inadvertent disclosure or unapproved dissemination of proprietary information or sensitive or confidential data about us, our partners, our customers or third parties could expose the parties affected to a risk of loss, or misuse of this information, resulting in litigation and potential liability, damage to our brand and reputation or other harm to our business. Our efforts to prevent and overcome these challenges could increase our expenses and may not be successful. We may experience interruptions, delays, cessation of service and loss of existing or potential customers. Such disruptions could adversely impact our ability to fulfill orders and interrupt other critical functions. Delayed sales, lower margins or lost customers as a result of these disruptions could adversely affect our financial results, stock price and reputation.
If our products contain significant defects, we could incur significant expenses to remediate such defects, our reputation could be damaged and we could lose market share.
Our products are complex and may contain defects or experience failures or unsatisfactory performance due to any number of issues in design, fabrication, packaging, materials and/or use within a system. Our products are used by a variety of industries, including the automotive industry. Failure of our products to perform to specifications, or other product defects, could lead to substantial damage to the products we sell directly to customers, the end product in which our device has been integrated by OEMs, ODMs, AIBs and Tier 1 automotive suppliers, and to the user of such end product. Any such defect may cause us to incur significant warranty, support and repair or replacement costs, cause us to lose market share, and divert the attention of our engineering personnel from our product development efforts to find and correct the issue. In addition, an error or defect in new products or releases or related software drivers after commencement of commercial shipments could result in failure to achieve market acceptance or loss of design wins and harm our relationships with customers and partners and consumers’ perceptions of our brand. Also, we may be required to reimburse our customers, partners or consumers, including costs to repair or replace products in the field. A product recall, particularly an automotive recall, or a significant number of product returns could be expensive, damage our reputation, result in the shifting of business to our competitors and result in litigation against us such as product liability suits. If a product liability claim is brought against us, the cost of defending the claim could be significant and would divert the efforts of our technical and management personnel, and harm our business. Further, our business liability insurance may be inadequate or future coverage may be unavailable on acceptable terms, which could adversely impact our financial results.
If we do not replace our Intel licensing revenues, our financial results may be adversely affected.
In January 2011, we entered into a patent cross licensing agreement under which Intel agreed to pay us an aggregate of $1.50 billion over six years. The final $200 million payment under this agreement was received in January 2016. We will be recognizing revenue under this agreement through the first quarter of fiscal year 2018. If we do not enter into new licensing agreements or if the Intel agreement is not offset by other growth in income our financial results may be adversely affected.
We depend on third parties and their technology to manufacture, assemble, test and/or package our products, which reduces our control over product quantity and quality, development, enhancement and product delivery schedule and could harm our business.
We do not manufacture the silicon wafers used for our GPUs and Tegra processors and do not own or operate a wafer fabrication facility. Instead, we are dependent on industry-leading foundries, such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., to manufacture our semiconductor wafers using their fabrication equipment and techniques. Similarly, we do not assemble, test or package our products, but instead rely on independent subcontractors, such as Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, Inc., BYD Auto Co., Ltd., Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., JSI Logistics, Ltd., King Yuan Electronics Co. and Siliconware Precision Industries Co. Ltd. We do not have long-term commitment contracts with these foundries or subcontractors. As a result, we face several significant risks which could have an adverse effect on our ability to meet customer demand and/or negatively impact our business operations, gross margin, revenue and/or financial results, including:
a lack of guaranteed supply of wafers and other components and potential higher wafer and component prices due to supply constraints;
a failure by our foundries to procure raw materials or to provide or allocate adequate manufacturing or test capacity for our products;
a failure to develop, obtain or successfully implement high quality, leading-edge process technologies, including transitions to smaller geometry process technologies such as 16nm FinFET, and memory designs such as CoWoS, needed to manufacture our products profitably or on a timely basis;
loss of a supplier and additional expense and/or production delays as a result of qualifying a new foundry or subcontractor and commencing volume production or testing in the event of a loss of or a decision to add or change a supplier;
a lack of direct control over delivery schedules or product quantity and quality; and
delays in product shipments, shortages, a decrease in product quality and/or higher expenses in the event our subcontractors or foundries prioritize our competitors’ orders over our orders or otherwise.
We also rely on third-party software development tools to assist us in the design, simulation and verification of new products or product enhancements, and to bring such new products and enhancements to market in a timely manner. In the past, we have experienced delays in the introduction of products and enhancements as a result of the inability of then available software development tools to fully simulate the complex features and functionalities of our products. The design requirements necessary to meet consumer demands for more features and greater functionality from our products may exceed the capabilities of available software development tools. If we miss design cycles or lose design wins due to the unavailability of such software development tools, we could lose market share and our revenues could decline.
If we fail to achieve design wins for our products, our business will be harmed.
For our products that we do not sell directly to consumers, achieving design wins is an important success factor. Our OEM, ODM, and AIB and motherboard manufacturers’ customers typically introduce new system configurations as often as twice per year, typically based on spring and fall design cycles or in connection with trade shows. If OEMs, ODMs, and AIB and motherboard manufacturers do not include our products in their systems, they will typically not use our products in their systems until at least the next design configuration. In order to achieve design wins, we must:
anticipate the features and functionality that customers and consumers will demand;
incorporate those features and functionalities into products that meet the exacting design requirements of our customers; and
price our products competitively.
Unanticipated changes in industry standards could render our products incompatible with products developed by major hardware manufacturers and software developers. Further, if our products are not in compliance with prevailing industry standards, our customers may not incorporate our products into their design strategies.
Business disruptions could harm our business, lead to a decline in revenues and increase our costs.
Our worldwide operations could be disrupted by earthquakes, telecommunications failures, power or water shortages, outages at cloud service providers, tsunamis, floods, hurricanes, typhoons, fires, extreme weather conditions, medical epidemics or pandemics and other natural or man-made disasters, catastrophic events or climate change. The occurrence of any of these disruptions could harm our business and result in significant losses, a decline in revenue and an increase in our costs and expenses. Any of these business disruptions could require substantial expenditures and recovery time in order to fully resume operations. Our corporate headquarters, and a portion of our research and development activities, are located in California, and other critical business operations and some of our suppliers are located in Asia, near major earthquake faults known for seismic activity. In addition, a majority of our principal IT datacenters are located in California, making our operations vulnerable to natural disasters or other business disruptions occurring in this geographical area. The manufacture of product components, the final assembly of our products and other critical operations are concentrated in certain geographic locations, including Taiwan, China and Korea. Our operations could be harmed if manufacturing, logistics or other operations in these locations are disrupted for any reason, including natural disasters, high heat events or water shortages, information technology system failures, military actions or economic, business, labor, environmental, public health, regulatory or political issues. The ultimate impact on us, our third-party foundries and other suppliers and our general infrastructure of being located near major earthquake faults and being consolidated in certain geographical areas is unknown. In the event of a major earthquake or other disaster or catastrophic event, our revenue could decline and our business may be harmed.
We receive a significant amount of our revenue from a limited number of customers within our partner network
and our revenue could be adversely affected if we lose any of these customers.
We receive a significant amount of our revenue from a limited number of customers within our partner network. With several of these partners, we are selling multiple target market platforms through their channels. As a result, revenue from significant customers, those representing 10% or more of total revenue, was 12%, 11%, and 11% of our total revenue from one customer in fiscal years 2017, 2016, and 2015, respectively. Our operating results in the foreseeable future will continue to depend on sales within our partner network, as well as the ability of these partners to sell products that incorporate our GPUs and Tegra processors. In the future, these partners may decide to purchase fewer products than they did in the past, not to incorporate our products into their ecosystem, or to alter their purchasing patterns in some other way, particularly because:
• most of our sales are made on a purchase order basis, which permits our customers to cancel, change or delay
product purchase commitments with little or no notice to us and without penalty; • our partners may develop their own solutions; • our customers may purchase products from our competitors; or • our partners may discontinue sales or lose market share in the markets for which they purchase our products.
The loss of any of our large customers or a significant reduction in purchases by them would likely harm our financial condition and results of operations, and any difficulties in collecting accounts receivable could harm our operating results and financial condition.
We maintain an allowance for doubtful accounts for estimated losses resulting from the inability of certain of our customers to make required payments and obtain credit insurance over the purchasing credit extended to these customers. In the future, we may have to record additional provisions or write-offs and/or defer revenue on certain sales transactions, which could negatively impact our financial results, and we may not be able to acquire credit insurance on the credit we extend to these customers or in amounts that we deem sufficient.
Our gross margin depends on a number of factors and changes in any of these factors could adversely affect our gross margin.
Our gross margin for any period depends on a number of factors, including the mix of our products sold, average selling prices, introduction of new products and services, process node transitions, product transitions, sales discounts, pricing actions by our competitors, the cost of product components and the yield of wafers produced by the foundries that manufacture our products. We are focused on improving our gross margin and if we are not able to control or estimate the impact of the above factors or other factors we do not foresee, our gross margins may be negatively impacted.
If we fail to estimate customer demand properly, our financial results could be harmed.
We manufacture our GPUs and Tegra processors based on estimates of customer demand. In order to have shorter shipment lead times and quicker delivery schedules for our customers, we may build inventories for anticipated periods of growth which do not occur, or may build inventory anticipating demand for a product that does not materialize. In estimating demand, we make multiple assumptions, any of which may prove to be incorrect. Situations that may result in excess or obsolete inventory include:
changes in business and economic conditions, including downturns in our target markets and/or overall economy;
changes in consumer confidence caused by changes in market conditions, including changes in the credit market;
a sudden and significant decrease in demand for our products;
a higher incidence of inventory obsolescence because of rapidly changing technology or customer requirements; • our introduction of new products resulting in lower demand for older products;
less demand than expected for newly-introduced products; or
increased competition, including competitive pricing actions.
In addition, the cancellation or deferral of customer purchase orders could result in our holding excess inventory, which could adversely affect our gross margins. In addition, because we often sell a substantial portion of our products in the last month of each quarter, we may not be able to reduce our inventory purchase commitments in a timely manner in response to customer cancellations or deferrals. We could be required to write-down our inventory to the lower of cost or market or write-off excess inventory, and we could experience a reduction in average selling prices if we incorrectly forecast product demand, any of which could harm our financial results.
Conversely, if we underestimate our customers’ demand for our products, our foundry partners may not have adequate lead-time or capacity to increase production and we may not be able to obtain sufficient inventory to fill customers’ orders on a timely basis. Even if we are able to increase production levels to meet customer demand, we may not be able to do so in a cost-effective or timely manner. If we fail to fulfill our customers’ orders on a timely basis, or at all, our customer relationships could be damaged, we could lose revenue and market share and our reputation could be damaged.
We are subject to risks and uncertainties associated with international operations which may harm our business.
We conduct our business worldwide and we have offices in various countries outside of the United States. Our semiconductor wafers are manufactured, assembled, tested and packaged by third parties located outside of the United States and Other Americas. We also generate a significant portion of our revenue from sales to customers outside the United States and Other Americas. Revenue from sales to customers outside of the United States and Other Americas accounted for 80%, 79% and 75% of total revenue for fiscal years 2017, 2016 and 2015, respectively. The global nature of our business subjects us to a number of risks and uncertainties, including:
international economic and political conditions, such as political tensions between countries in which we do business;
unexpected changes in, or impositions of, legislative or regulatory requirements;
differing legal standards with respect to protection of intellectual property and employment practices;
local business and cultural factors that differ from our normal standards and practices, including business practices that we are prohibited from engaging in by the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and other anticorruption laws and regulations;
exporting or importing issues related to export or import restrictions, tariffs, quotas and other trade barriers and restrictions;
financial risks such as longer payment cycles, difficulty in collecting accounts receivable and foreign exchange rate fluctuations; and
increased costs due to imposition of climate change regulations, such as carbon taxes, fuel or energy taxes, and pollution limits.
If sales to any of our customers outside of the United States and Other Americas are delayed or cancelled because of any of the above factors, our revenue may be negatively impacted.
We may not be able to realize the potential financial or strategic benefits of business acquisitions or strategic investments and we may not be able to successfully integrate acquisition targets, which could hurt our ability to grow our business, develop new products or sell our products.
We have in the past acquired and invested in, and may continue to acquire and invest in, other businesses that offer products, services and technologies that we believe will help expand or enhance our existing products and business. Any of the following risks associated with past or future acquisitions or investments could impair our ability to grow our business, develop new products or sell our products, and ultimately could have a negative impact on our growth or our financial results:
diversion of capital and other resources, including management’s attention;
assumption of liabilities;
incurring amortization expenses, impairment charges to goodwill or write-downs of acquired assets;
potential failure of our due diligence processes to identify significant issues with product quality, architecture and
development, or legal and financial contingencies, among other things; and
impairment of relationships with, or loss of our or our target’s, employees, vendors and customers, as a result of our acquisition or investment.
Risks Related to Regulatory, Legal, Our Common Stock and Other Matters
Actions to adequately protect our intellectual property rights could result in substantial costs to us and our ability to compete could be harmed if we are unsuccessful in doing so or if we are prohibited from making or selling our products.
We have in the past, currently are, and may in the future become involved in lawsuits or other legal proceedings alleging patent infringement or other intellectual property rights violations by us, our employees or parties that we have agreed to indemnify for certain claims of infringement. An unfavorable ruling in any such intellectual property related litigation could include significant damages, invalidation of a patent or family of patents, indemnification of customers, payment of lost profits, or, when it has been sought, injunctive relief.
We may commence litigation or other legal proceedings in order to protect our intellectual property rights. Such proceedings may increase our operating expenses, which could negatively impact our operating results. Further, we could be subject to countersuits as a result of our initiation of litigation. If infringement claims are made against us or our products are found to infringe a third party’s patent or intellectual property, we or one of our indemnitees may have to seek a license to the third party’s patent or other intellectual property rights. However, we may not be able to obtain licenses at all or on terms acceptable to us particularly from our competitors. If we or one of our indemnitees is unable to obtain a license from a third party for technology that we use or that is used in one of our products, we could be subject to substantial liabilities or have to suspend or discontinue the manufacture and sale of one or more of our products. We may also have to make royalty or other payments, or cross license our technology. If these arrangements are not concluded on commercially reasonable terms, our business could be negatively impacted. Furthermore, the indemnification of a customer or other indemnitee may increase our operating expenses which could negatively impact our operating results.
We rely primarily on a combination of patents, trademarks, trade secrets, employee and third-party nondisclosure agreements, licensing arrangements, and the laws of the countries in which we operate to protect our intellectual property in the United States and internationally. The laws of certain foreign countries may not protect our products or intellectual property rights to the same extent as the laws of the United States. This makes the possibility of piracy of our technology and products more likely. We continuously assess whether and where to seek formal protection for existing and new innovations and technologies, but cannot be certain whether our applications for such protections will be approved, and, if approved, whether we will be able to enforce such protections.
Our operating results have in the past fluctuated and may in the future fluctuate, and if our operating results are below the expectations of securities analysts or investors, our stock price could decline.
Our operating results have in the past fluctuated and may in the future continue to fluctuate due to numerous factors. For example, our operating expenses represent a significant portion of total revenue and are largely independent of revenue in any particular period. In particular, our research and development expenses reflect multi-year programs for the development of new products and enhancements that will not result in revenue, if any, until future periods. Therefore, investors should not rely on quarterly comparisons of our results of operations as an indication of our future performance.
Factors that could affect our results of operations in the future include:
demand and market acceptance for our products and services and/or our customers’ products;
the successful development and volume production of our next-generation products;
• our inability to adjust spending to offset revenue shortfalls due to the multi-year development cycle for some of our products and services;
new product and service announcements or product and service introductions by our competitors;
• our introduction of new products in accordance with OEMs’ design requirements and design cycles;
changes in the timing of product orders due to unexpected delays in the introduction of our customers’ products;
the level of growth or decline of the PC industry in general;
seasonal fluctuations associated with the PC and consumer products market;
contraction in automotive and consumer end-market demand due to adverse regional or worldwide economic conditions;
slower than expected growth of demand for new technologies;
fluctuations in the availability of manufacturing capacity or manufacturing yields;
• our ability to reduce the manufacturing costs of our products;
competitive pressures resulting in lower than expected average selling prices;
product rates of return in excess of that forecasted or expected due to quality issues;
rescheduling or cancellation of customer orders;
the loss of a significant customer;
substantial disruption in the operations of our foundries or other third-party subcontractors, as a result of a natural disaster, equipment failure, terrorism or other causes;
supply constraints for and changes in the cost of the other components incorporated into our customers’ products, including memory devices;
costs associated with the repair and replacement of defective products;
unexpected inventory write-downs or write-offs;
legal and other costs related to defending intellectual property and other types of lawsuits;
availability of software and technology licenses at commercially reasonable terms for the continued sale or development of new products;
customer bad debt write-offs;
changes in our effective tax rate as a result of changes in the mix of earnings in countries with differing statutory tax rates, applicable tax laws or interpretations of tax laws;
any unanticipated costs associated with environmental liabilities;
unexpected costs related to our ownership of real property;
costs to comply with new government regulations and regulatory enforcement actions;
costs to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting;
changes in financial accounting standards or interpretations of existing standards; and
general macroeconomic events and factors affecting the overall semiconductor industry and our target markets.
Any one or more of the factors discussed above could prevent us from achieving our expected future financial results. Any such failure to meet our expectations or the expectations of our investors or security analysts could cause our stock price to decline or experience substantial price volatility and, as a result, investors may suffer losses.
In the past, securities class action litigation has often been brought against a company following periods of volatility in the market price of its securities. We have been in the past, and may be in the future, the target of securities litigation. Such lawsuits generally result in the diversion of management’s time and attention away from business operations, which could harm our business. In addition, the costs of defense and any damages resulting from litigation, a ruling against us, or a settlement of the litigation could adversely affect our cash flow and financial results.
Privacy concerns relating to our products and services could damage our reputation and deter current and potential users from using our products and services.
Our products and services may provide us with access to sensitive, confidential or personal data or information that is subject to privacy and security laws and regulations. Concerns about our practices with regard to the collection, use, retention, security or disclosure of personal information or other privacy-related matters, even if unfounded, could damage our reputation and adversely affect our operating results.
Worldwide regulatory authorities are considering various legislative proposals concerning data protection. In addition, the interpretation and application of consumer and data protection laws in the United States, Europe and elsewhere are often uncertain and fluid, and may be interpreted and applied in a manner that is inconsistent with our data practices. If so, we may be ordered to change our data practices and/or be fined. Complying with these changing laws could cause us to incur substantial costs, which could have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
Wearesubjecttorisksassociatedwithdevelopmentandconstructionofourheadquartersbuildingunderanoperating lease financing arrangement.
In fiscal year 2016, we began to construct a new headquarters building in Santa Clara, California, which is currently targeted for completion in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018. We may encounter unanticipated occurrences or conditions during construction that may increase the expense of the project. We may also encounter unanticipated delays in the construction of the new building and final city approval for occupancy may be delayed. We are financing this construction under an operating lease arrangement described below. Delays and cost overruns during construction could result in a default under the operating lease financing arrangement which could result in liabilities and expenses and could harm our business, prospects, financial condition and results of operations.
Additionally, any such difficulties could result in our default under the operative agreements entered into with a syndicate of banks that are participants to the operating lease financing arrangement to finance development and construction of our headquarters. We have pledged our assets that relate to the new headquarters building in order to secure our obligations under the operating lease financing arrangement. We will need to maintain compliance with the requirements governing such agreements, including compliance with financial and other covenants, certain of which may be subject to events outside of our control. If we fail to comply with the covenants, we may be unable to obtain or utilize all or a portion of the financing contemplated by the operating lease financing arrangement. Further, noncompliance with such covenants or other event of default could lead to a termination of our lease of the property, and the lenders could have the right to, among other things, foreclose on the collateral for our obligations under the operating lease financing arrangement. A loss of financing for the new headquarters building or foreclosure on the collateral could adversely affect our liquidity and business.
Our indebtedness could adversely affect our financial position and prevent us from implementing our strategy or fulfilling our contractual obligations.
In September 2016, we issued $1.00 billion of 2.20% notes due September 16, 2021, or the Notes Due 2021, and $1.00 billion of 3.20% notes due September 16, 2026, or the Notes Due 2026 (collectively, the Notes). In December 2013, we issued $1.50 billion of 1.00% convertible senior notes due December 1, 2018, or the Convertible Notes, of which $827 million in principal amount remained outstanding as of January 29, 2017. We have received additional conversion requests of $660 million in principal amount, $502 million of which have already settled, $103 million of which are expected to settle during the first quarter of fiscal year 2018, and $55 million of which are expected to settle during the second quarter of fiscal year 2018.
Our indebtedness may limit our ability to use our cash flow or borrow additional funds for working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions and general corporate and other purposes. Additionally, our obligation to make payments related to the Notes or the Convertible Notes could impact our cash balance and limit our ability to use our cash for our capital return program and our other liquidity needs, including working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions, investments and other general corporate purposes.
The warrants associated with our Convertible Notes, or the Warrants, dilute our net income per share and the settlement or eventual exercise of the Warrants would dilute the ownership interest of our existing shareholders.
When the average trading price of our common stock for a fiscal quarter exceeds the adjusted strike price of the Warrants, the number of diluted weighted average shares used in our net income per share calculation increases, which dilutes our net income per share.
Any issuance by us of shares upon exercise or any other settlement of the Warrants may dilute the ownership interest of our existing shareholders. In December 2016, we entered into an agreement with a counterparty bank to terminate 63 million of the 75 million Warrants outstanding. In consideration for the termination of these Warrants, we delivered a total of 48 million shares of common stock to the counterparty bank, the amount of which was determined each day based on the daily volume-weighted average price of our common stock during an observation period beginning December 13, 2016 and ending January 31, 2017. As of January 29, 2017, 44 million of the 48 million shares of our common stock had been issued related to the terminated Warrants. The remaining 4 million shares were issued in the beginning of fiscal year 2018.
An aggregate of 12 million Warrants remained outstanding, or the Remaining Warrants, as of January 29, 2017. The Remaining Warrants will be deemed to be automatically exercised on certain dates between March 2019 and June 2019, unless the Warrant holder notifies us otherwise.
Delaware law and provisions in our certificate of incorporation, our bylaws and our agreement with Microsoft Corporation could delay or prevent a change in control.
Our status as a Delaware corporation and the anti-takeover provisions of the Delaware General Corporation Law may discourage, delay, or prevent a change in control by prohibiting us from engaging in a business combination with an interested shareholder for a period of three years after the person becomes an interested shareholder, even if a change of control would be beneficial to our existing shareholders. In addition, our certificate of incorporation and bylaws contain provisions that could make it more difficult for a third party to acquire a majority of our outstanding voting stock. These provisions include the following:
the ability of our Board of Directors to create and issue preferred stock without prior shareholder approval;
the prohibition of shareholder action by written consent;
advance notice requirements for director nominations and shareholder proposals;
the ability of our Board of Directors to increase or decrease the number of directors without shareholder approval;
a super-majority voting requirement to amend some provisions in our certificate of incorporation and bylaws;
the inability of our shareholders to call special meetings of shareholders; and
the ability of our Board of Directors to make, amend or repeal our bylaws.
On March 5, 2000, we entered into an agreement with Microsoft in which we agreed to develop and sell graphics chips and to license certain technology to Microsoft and its licensees for use in the Xbox. Under the agreement, if an individual or corporation makes an offer to purchase shares equal to or greater than 30% of the outstanding shares of our common stock, Microsoft may have first and last rights of refusal to purchase the stock. The Microsoft provision and the other factors listed above could also delay or prevent a change in control of NVIDIA. These provisions could also discourage proxy contests and make it more difficult for shareholders to elect directors of their choosing and to cause us to take other corporate actions they desire.
ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES
Our headquarters complex is located in Santa Clara, California. It includes eight leased commercial buildings totaling 896,565 square feet, and real property that we own, which consists of six commercial buildings on 36 acres of land. During fiscal year 2016, we began to construct a new headquarters building in Santa Clara, California, which is currently targeted for completion in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2018. In addition, we also lease datacenter space in Santa Clara, California.
Outside of Santa Clara, California, we lease facilities in Austin, Texas and a number of regional facilities in other U.S. locations, that are used as research and development centers and/or sales and administrative offices. Outside of the United States, we own a building in Hyderabad, India, that is being used primarily as a research and development center. We also lease facilities in various international locations that are used as research and development centers and/or sales and administrative offices. These leased facilities are located primarily in Asia and Europe.
We believe that we currently have sufficient facilities to conduct our operations for the next twelve months. For additional information regarding obligations under leases, see Note 12 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Annual Report on Form 10-K under the subheading “Lease Obligations,” which information is hereby incorporated by reference.