XMEX:NVDA NVIDIA Corp Annual Report 10-K Filing - 1/29/2012

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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
________________
FORM 10-K
[x]
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
 
For the fiscal year ended January 29, 2012
OR
[_]
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
Commission file number: 0-23985
 
 
NVIDIA CORPORATION
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware
94-3177549
(State or other jurisdiction of
(I.R.S. Employer
Incorporation or Organization)
Identification No.)
2701 San Tomas Expressway
Santa Clara, California 95050
(408) 486-2000
(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of principal executive offices)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class
Name of each exchange on which registered
Common Stock, $0.001 par value per share
The NASDAQ Global Select Market
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
Yes ý No o
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.
Yes o No ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
Yes ý No o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).
Yes ý No o
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§ 229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K. o 
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer   x              
Accelerated filer o                        
Non-accelerated filer o (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
       Smaller reporting company o
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).
Yes o No ý 



The aggregate market value of the voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of July 31, 2011 was approximately $7.98 billion (based on the closing sales price of the registrant's common stock as reported by the NASDAQ Global Select Market, on July 29, 2011). This calculation excludes approximately 26,462,277 shares held by directors and executive officers of the registrant. This calculation does not exclude shares held by such organizations whose ownership exceeds 5% of the registrant's outstanding common stock that have represented to the registrant that they are registered investment advisers or investment companies registered under section 8 of the Investment Company Act of 1940.

The number of shares of common stock outstanding as of March 9, 2012 was 616,028,107

 
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE 

Portions of the registrant's Proxy Statement for its 2012 Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission by April 5, 2012 are incorporated by reference.





NVIDIA CORPORATION

TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
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3


PART I
 
ITEM 1. BUSINESS
 
Forward-Looking Statements


This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which are subject to the “safe harbor” created by those sections. Forward-looking statements are based on our management's beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to our management. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “goal,” “would,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “project,” “predict,” “potential” and similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause our actual results, performance, time frames or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, time frames or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. We discuss many of these risks, uncertainties and other factors in this Annual Report on Form 10-K in greater detail under the heading “Risk Factors.” Given these risks, uncertainties and other factors, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Also, these forward-looking statements represent our estimates and assumptions only as of the date of this filing. You should read this Annual Report on Form 10-K completely and with the understanding that our actual future results may be materially different from what we expect. We hereby qualify our forward-looking statements by these cautionary statements. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements, even if new information becomes available in the future.

All references to “NVIDIA,” “we,” “us,” “our” or the “Company” mean NVIDIA Corporation and its subsidiaries, except where it is made clear that the term means only the parent company.

 © 2012 NVIDIA Corporation. All rights reserved. NVIDIA, the NVIDIA logo, 3D Vision, CUDA, DirectTouch, GeForce, NVIDIA Fermi, ICERA, Kepler, Maximus, Quadro, Tesla and Tegra are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of NVIDIA Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.

Our Company

NVIDIA is known to millions around the world for creating the graphics chips used in personal computers, or PCs, that bring games and home movies to life. With the invention of the graphics processing unit, or GPU, we introduced the world to the power of computer graphics. Today, we reach well beyond PC graphics. Our energy-efficient processors power a broad range of products, from smart phones to supercomputers. Our mobile processors are used in cell phones, tablets and auto infotainment systems. PC gamers rely on our GPUs to enjoy visually immersive worlds. Designers use GPUs to create visual effects in movies and create everything from golf clubs to jumbo jets. Researchers utilize GPUs to push the frontiers of science with high-performance computing. NVIDIA has nearly 5,000 patents granted and pending worldwide.
 
NVIDIA solutions are based on two important technologies: the GPU and the mobile processor. Both are highly complex chips, designed by NVIDIA engineers, and manufactured for us by a third party chip foundry. GPUs are the engines of visual computing, the science and art of using computers to understand, create and enhance images. One of the most complex processors ever created, the most advanced GPUs contain billions of transistors. We have three GPU product brands: GeForce, which creates realistic visual experiences for gamers; Quadro, the standard in visual computing for designers and digital artists; and Tesla, which accelerates applications for scientists and researchers.
 
Mobile processors incorporate central processing unit, or CPU, and GPU technologies to deliver an entire computer system on a single chip, or system-on-chip. Modern mobile processors possess significant computing capabilities yet consume one hundred times less energy than a typical PC. Tegra is our mobile processor and is built for applications ranging from smartphones, tablets and notebook PCs to televisions and cars. We believe energy-efficient mobile computing will transform how computers are used in our lives. Tegra is a major new growth business for us.
We were incorporated in California in April 1993 and reincorporated in Delaware in April 1998. Our headquarter facilities are in Santa Clara, California.



4


Reporting Segments
 
We have three primary financial reporting segments - GPU Business; Professional Solutions Business, or PSB; and Consumer Products Business, or CPB. 

Reporting Segments
 
Primary Revenue Sources
 
 
 
GPU
ž
GeForce discrete graphics and chipset products and notebook PCs
 
ž
Licensing fees from Intel Corporation
 
ž
Memory products
 
 
 
PSB
ž
Quadro professional workstation products
 
ž
Tesla high-performance computing products
 
 
 
CPB
ž
Tegra mobile products
 
ž
Icera baseband processors and RF transceivers for mobile connectivity
 
ž
Royalty license fees and other revenue related to video game consoles
 
ž
GPU and Tegra products in embedded products and automobiles

GPU Business
 
Our GPU business revenue includes primarily sales of our GeForce discrete and chipset products that support desktop and notebook PCs plus license fees from Intel and sales of memory products.  GeForce GPUs enhance the gaming experience on consumer notebook and desktop PCs by improving the quality of game graphics and the physical realism of the game environment. They also accelerate video editing and high definition, or HD, content creation by consumers and improve the viewing experience. GeForce GPUs power PCs made by or distributed by most PC original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, in the world.

We ceased development of future chipset products based on the technology of the media and communications processor, or MCP, in the first quarter of fiscal 2011 and expect MCP chipset revenue in fiscal 2013 to be immaterial. Our MCP chipsets primarily comprised of our ION motherboard GPUs, a product reaching the end of its life cycle.
    
 Professional Solutions Business
 
Our PSB consists of our Quadro professional workstation products and our Tesla high-performance computing products. Our Quadro products are designed to deliver the highest possible level of graphics performance and application compatibility for professionals.  Tesla applies the significant processing power of our GPUs to general-purpose computing problems, greatly increasing performance and power efficiency over CPU-only solutions.
 
Quadro products improve performance and add functionality, such as photorealistic rendering, to computer-aided design workstations, and are used in professional video editing applications and for generating special effects in movies. They are recognized by many as the standard for professional graphics solutions needed to solve many of the world's most complex visual computing challenges in the manufacturing, entertainment, medical, science and aerospace industries. Quadro products are fully certified by several software developers for professional workstation applications.
 
Our growth strategy for Quadro is twofold: increase our focus on emerging economies; and continue to make Quadro more valuable through innovations such as our Maximus technology, which allows professionals to process compute-intensive tasks and visually intensive graphics simultaneously.
 
We believe industrial design is increasing in emerging economies, as manufacturers in, for example, Brazil, Russia, India and China, attempt to move up the value chain from contract manufacture to full product design. Movie-making in these regions is becoming more sophisticated and is expected to make more use of Quadro, just as Hollywood does today. All five nominated films for the special effects Oscar in 2011 used Quadro, while Bollywood's first action blockbuster, RaOne, also depended on Quadro for computer-generated special effects.
 

5


In fiscal year 2012, we launched Project Maximus, which uses the compute power of Tesla with the visualization power of Quadro to merge the design and simulation stages into one workstation. Traditionally, the design and simulation stages of new product development have been separate, requiring the designer to hand over to a simulation expert and wait for the results before revising their design. Combining the processes greatly reduces the time for each iteration. “Simulation”, in this context, can mean verifying a plastic component is capable of manufacture by modeling the injection of molten plastic into a mold, determining a product is strong enough through a stress simulation, or generating a photorealistic image of a consumer product by simulating the path of light through and across it.
 
Tesla has had particular success in supercomputing centers and in oil exploration; other applications include accelerating drug discovery, weather simulations and derivative price modeling. Our growth strategy for Tesla is to focus on these and some other key markets, and to continue building an ecosystem of applications, development tools and developers who can develop for a massively parallel architecture like Tesla.
 
Consumer Products Business
 
Our CPB includes our Tegra system-on-chip products for smartphones, tablets, automotive infotainment systems, and other similar devices, and Icera baseband processors. The significant majority of Tegra revenues are generated by sales in smart phones and tablets. CPB also includes license, royalty, other revenue and associated costs related to video game consoles and other digital consumer electronics devices.  
 
Our mobile strategy is to create a system-on-chip that enables the entertainment and web experiences that end users enjoy on a PC and other mobile devices.  NVIDIA Tegra mobile products implement design techniques, both inside the chips and at the system level, which result in high performance and long battery life. These technologies enhance visual display capabilities, improve connectivity and minimize chip and system-level power consumption. We aim to innovate faster than the competition, introducing new features and capabilities to differentiate the user experience.
 
In support of this strategy, during fiscal year 2012, we launched Tegra 3, the world's first quad-core mobile computing chip, bringing PC levels of performance within the power envelope of a cellular phone chip. Tegra 3 includes several unique innovations, including its variable symmetric multiprocessing architecture with companion core which enables extremely low-power operation during the majority of use cases, and PRISM, which increases battery life during video playback by 40%. Another notable innovation is DirectTouch, which significantly improves the responsiveness of touch-screen user interfaces on devices and simultaneously reduces costs for the device manufacturer. Our software expertise makes both of these inventions completely transparent to the operating system; that is, neither the operating system nor the application developer has to know about them for users to benefit from them.

During the second quarter of fiscal year 2012, we completed the acquisition of Icera, an innovator of baseband processors for 3G and 4G cellular phones and tablets.  Icera's technology uses a custom-built, low-power processor and a software-based baseband which assist manufacturers to develop multiple products from a common platform, reduce development costs and accelerate time to market. Icera's high-speed wireless modem products have been approved by more than 50 carriers across the globe.  In addition to leveraging on the existing Icera business, the objective of the acquisition is to accelerate and enhance the combination of our application processor with Icera's baseband processor for use in mobile devices such as smartphone and tablets.  Please refer to Note 7 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Form 10-K for additional information regarding this business combination.
 
Our Strategy

Maintain Technology and Product Leadership in Visual Computing.  We believe that ongoing investment in research and development in 3D graphics and image processing is critical to the development and enhancement of innovative products and technologies.  We are focused on using our advanced engineering capabilities to accelerate the quality and performance of 3D graphics, image processing and computational graphics to raise and change the user experience for both consumer entertainment and professional visualization applications. Our research and development strategy is to focus on concurrently developing multiple generations of GPUs, including GPUs for high-performance computing, and mobile and consumer products using independent design teams. As we have in the past, we intend to use this strategy to achieve new levels of graphics, networking and communications features and performance and ultra-low power designs, enabling our customers to achieve superior performance in their products. One of our primary competitive advantages is the quality of our software, measured by performance, reliability, features and compatibility with other applications.
  

6


Advance Mobile Computing with Best-in-Class Ultra-Low Power System-On-Chip Processors.  We believe that our expertise in graphics and low-power system architecture positions us to help drive continued market penetration through our applications processor roadmap.  By deploying the new NVIDIA Icera baseband processor, we believe we can address a larger segment of the phone market. And further, by integrating the applications processor and baseband processor together in a single product, we believe we will be able to address an even larger segment next year.

Revolutionize High Performance Computing with Tesla and CUDA.  Tesla is a family of GPU computing products that delivers processing capabilities for high-performance computing applications. NVIDIA CUDA is a general purpose parallel computing architecture that leverages the parallel compute engine in NVIDIA GPUs to solve many complex computational problems in a fraction of the time required by a CPU. We are working with developers around the world who have adopted and written application programs for the CUDA architecture using various high-level programming languages, which can then be run at significant execution speeds on our GPUs.  Developers are able to accelerate algorithms in areas ranging from molecular dynamics to image processing, medical image reconstruction and derivatives modeling for financial risk analysis.  We are also working with universities around the world that teach parallel programming with CUDA as well as with many PC , or OEMs that offer high performance computing solutions with Tesla for use by their customers around the world. We also sell directly to supercomputing centers such as Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the U.S. and the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin, China. Researchers use CUDA to accelerate their time-to-discovery, and many popular off-the-shelf software packages are now CUDA-accelerated.
 
Use Our Intellectual Property and Resources to Enter into License and Development Contracts. We believe our technology leadership in graphics and mobile computing offers the opportunity to license our technology to customers that desire to build such capabilities directly into their own products. Accordingly, from time to time, we expect to enter into license and development arrangements, some of which may involve significant customization of our intellectual property components, to further enhance the reach of our graphics and mobile technology.    

Sales and Marketing
 
Our worldwide sales and marketing strategy is key to our objective to become the leading supplier of , high-performance and efficient GPUs and mobile system-on-chip products. Our sales and marketing teams work closely with each industry's respective OEMs, original design manufacturers, or ODMs, system builders, motherboard manufacturers, add-in board manufacturers, or AIBs and industry trendsetters, collectively referred to as our Channel, to define product features, performance, price and timing of new products. 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 Channel in designing, testing and qualifying system designs that incorporate our products. We believe that the depth and quality of our design support are keys to improving our Channel's time-to-market, maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction within our Channel and fostering relationships that encourage customers to use the next generation of our products.
 
In the segments we serve that purchase our GPUs, the sales process involves achieving key design wins with leading OEMs and major system builders and supporting the product design into high volume production with key ODMs, motherboard manufacturers and AIBs. These design wins in turn influence the retail and system builder channel that is serviced by AIB and motherboard manufacturers. Our distribution strategy is to work with a number of leading independent contract equipment manufacturers, or CEMs, ODMs, motherboard manufacturers, AIBs and distributors, each of which have relationships with a broad range of major OEMs and/or strong brand name recognition in the retail channel. Currently, we sell a significant portion of our processors directly to distributors, CEMs, ODMs, motherboard manufacturers and add-in board manufacturers, which then sell boards and systems with our products to leading OEMs, retail outlets and a large number of system builders. In the CPB segment that we serve, the sales process primarily involves achieving key design wins directly with the leading mobile OEMs and supporting the product design into high-volume production.
 
As a result of our Channel strategy, a small number of our customers represent the majority of our revenue. However, their end customers consist of a large number of OEMs and system builders throughout the world.  Sales to our largest customer accounted for 11% of our total revenue for fiscal year 2012.
 
To encourage software title developers and publishers to develop games optimized for platforms utilizing our products, 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 discuss our products, as well as to ascertain product requirements and solve technical problems. Our developer program makes certain that our products are available to developers prior to volume availability in order to encourage the development of software titles that are optimized for our products.


7


Backlog
 
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. The semiconductor industry is characterized by short lead time orders and quick delivery schedules. In light of industry practice and experience, we believe that only a small portion of our backlog is non-cancelable and that the dollar amount associated with the non-cancelable portion is not significant.

Seasonality

Our industry is largely focused on the consumer products market. Historically, we have seen stronger revenue in the second half of our fiscal year than in the first half of our fiscal year, primarily due to back-to-school and holiday demand. However, there can be no assurance of this trend.
 
Manufacturing
 
We do not directly manufacture semiconductor wafers used for our products. Instead, we utilize what is known as a fabless manufacturing strategy for all of our product-line operating segments 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. Our suppliers are also responsible for procurement of most 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, to produce our semiconductor wafers. We then utilize independent subcontractors, such as Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, Inc., Amkor Technology, JSI Logistics Ltd., King Yuan Electronics Co., Ltd., Siliconware Precision Industries Company Ltd. and STATS ChipPAC Incorporated to perform assembly, testing and packaging of most of our products. We purchase substrates from Nanya Technology Corporation, IbidenCo., Ltd. and Unimicron Technology Corporation.
 
We typically receive semiconductor products from our subcontractors, perform incoming quality assurance and then ship the semiconductors to 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 the products to retailers, system builders or OEMs as motherboard and add-in board solutions.
 
Inventory and Working Capital
 
Our management focuses considerable attention on managing our inventories and other working-capital-related items. We manage inventories by communicating with our customers and then using our industry experience to forecast demand on a product-by-product 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.
 
Our existing cash and marketable securities balances increased by 25.7% at the end of fiscal year 2012 compared with the end of fiscal year 2011. We believe that these balances and our anticipated cash flows from operations will be sufficient to meet our operating, acquisition and capital 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 3D graphics, HD video, audio, ultra-low power consumption and system-on-chip architectures is essential to our future success. Our research and development strategy is to focus on concurrently developing multiple generations of GPUs, including GPUs for high-performance computing, and mobile and consumer products using independent design teams. Our research and development efforts are performed within specialized groups consisting of software engineering, hardware engineering, very large scale integration design engineering, process engineering, architecture and algorithms. These groups act as a pipeline designed to allow the efficient simultaneous development of multiple generations of products.
 

8


A critical component of our product development effort is our partnerships with leaders in the computer-aided design industry. 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 the 3D graphics market and develop products that utilize leading-edge technology on a rapid basis. We believe this approach assists us in meeting the new design schedules of PC OEMs and other manufacturers.
 
As of January 29, 2012, we had 5,042 full-time employees engaged in research and development. During fiscal years 2012, 2011 and 2010, we incurred research and development expense of $1,002.6 million, $848.8 million and $908.9 million, respectively.

Competition
 
The market for our products is intensely competitive and is characterized by rapid technological change, evolving industry standards and declining average selling prices. We believe that the principal competitive factors in this market are performance, breadth of product offerings, access to customers 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 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 and mobile and consumer 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 GPUs, including chipsets that incorporate 3D graphics functionality as part of their existing solutions, such as Advanced Micro Devices, or AMD, Intel, Matrox Electronics Systems Ltd.  and VIA Technologies, Inc.;

suppliers of system-on-chip products that support tablets, smartphones, portable media players, internet television, automotive navigation and other similar devices, such as AMD, ARM Holdings plc, Broadcom Corporation, Freescale Semiconductor Inc., Fujitsu Limited, Imagination Technologies Ltd., Intel, Marvell Technology Group Ltd., NEC Corporation, Qualcomm Incorporated, Renesas Technology Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Seiko Epson Corporation, ST-Ericsson, Texas Instruments Incorporated and Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc.;

licensors of graphics technologies, such as ARM Holdings plc and Imagination Technologies Group plc.; and

suppliers of cellular basebands such as Broadcom Corporation, Freescale Semiconductor Inc., HiSilicon Technologies Co., Ltd., Intel, Marvell Technology Group Ltd., Mediatek, Qualcomm Incorporated, Renesas Technology Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Spreadtrum Communications Co., Ltd, ST-Ericsson, and Texas Instruments Incorporated.

If and to the extent we offer products in new markets, we may face competition from existing competitors as well as from companies with which we currently do not compete. We expect substantial competition from both Intel's and AMD's strategy of selling platform solutions, including integrating a CPU and a GPU on the same chip or same package, as evidenced by AMD's announcement of its Fusion processors and Intel's announcement of its family of CPUs codenamed Sandy Bridge. As AMD and Intel continue to pursue platform solutions and integrated CPUs, we may not be able to successfully compete and our business could be negatively impacted.

    

9


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 2012 to January 2031. 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 in Asia, 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 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.

Our pending patent applications and any future applications may not be approved. In addition, any issued patents may not provide us with competitive advantages or may be challenged by third parties. The enforcement of patents by others may harm our ability to conduct our business. Others may independently develop substantially equivalent intellectual property or otherwise gain access to our trade secrets or intellectual property. Our failure to effectively protect our intellectual property could harm our business. We have 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. These licenses may result in royalty payments to third parties, the cross licensing of technology by us or payment of other consideration. If these arrangements are not concluded on commercially reasonable terms, our business could suffer.

Employees
 
As of January 29, 2012, we had 7,133 employees, 5,042 of whom were engaged in research and development and 2,091 of whom were engaged in sales, marketing, operations and administrative positions. We believe we have good relationships with our employees.

Financial Information by Reporting Segment and Geographic Data

The information included in Note 18 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Form 10-K, including financial information by business segment and revenue and long-lived assets by geographic region, is hereby incorporated by reference.

Executive Officers of the Registrant

The following sets forth certain information regarding our executive officers, their ages and their positions as of February 29, 2012:
Name
 
Age
 
Position
Jen-Hsun Huang
 
49
 
President, Chief Executive Officer and Director
Karen Burns
 
44
 
Vice President and Interim Chief Financial Officer
Ajay K. Puri
 
57
 
Executive Vice President, Worldwide Sales
David M. Shannon
 
56
 
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
Debora Shoquist
 
57
 
Executive Vice President, Operations
 
Jen-Hsun Huang co-founded NVIDIA in April 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, most recently as Director of Coreware, the business unit responsible for LSI's “system-on-chip” strategy. 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.

10


 
Karen Burns joined NVIDIA in October 2000 and has served as Vice President and Interim Chief Financial Officer of NVIDIA since March 2011. From December 2010 to March 2011, Ms. Burns served as NVIDIA's Vice President, Corporate Controller and Tax and as Vice President - Tax from November 2007. From October 2000 to October 2007, Ms. Burns served as head of the tax department in various capacities, including Senior Director and Director. Previous to NVIDIA, Ms. Burns served nine years in various capacities in tax and audit with KPMG, a global public accounting firm, in their Atlanta, London, and Silicon Valley based practices. Ms. Burns holds both a B.A. and an M.A. in Accounting from Florida State University.
 
Ajay K. Puri joined NVIDIA in December 2005 as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales and became Executive Vice President, Worldwide Sales in January 2009. Prior to NVIDIA, he held positions in sales, marketing, and general management over a 22-year career at Sun Microsystems, Inc. Mr. Puri previously held marketing, management consulting, and product development positions at Hewlett-Packard Company, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., and Texas Instruments Incorporated. Mr. Puri holds an M.B.A. degree from Harvard University, an M.S.E.E. degree from the California Institute of Technology and a B.S.E.E. degree from the University of Minnesota.
 
David M. Shannon joined NVIDIA in August 2002 as Vice President and General Counsel. Mr. Shannon became Secretary of NVIDIA in April 2005, a Senior Vice President in December 2005 and an Executive Vice President in January 2009. From 1993 to 2002, Mr. Shannon held various counsel positions at Intel, including the most recent position of Vice President and Assistant General Counsel. Mr. Shannon also practiced for eight years in the law firm of Gibson Dunn and Crutcher, focusing on complex commercial and high-technology related litigation. Mr. Shannon holds B.A. and J.D. degrees from Pepperdine University.
 
Debora Shoquist joined NVIDIA in September 2007 as Senior Vice President of Operations and became Executive Vice President of Operations in January 2009. From 2004 to 2007, Ms. Shoquist served as Senior Vice President of Operations at JDS Uniphase Corporation, a provider of communications test and measurement solutions and optical products for the telecommunications industry. From 2002 to 2004, she served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Electro-Optics business at Coherent, Inc., a manufacturer of commercial and scientific laser equipment. Her experience includes her role at Quantum Corporation as the President of the Personal Computer Hard Disk Drive Division. Her experience also includes senior roles at Hewlett-Packard Corporation. She holds a B.S degree in Electrical Engineering from Kansas State University and a B.S. degree in Biology from Santa Clara University.

Available Information
 
Our Annual Report 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 Exchange Act of 1934, as the 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 is not a part of this 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 some risks including, but not limited to, the risks described below. Additionally, any one of the following risks could seriously harm our business, financial condition and results of operations, which could cause our stock price to decline. Additional risks and uncertainties not presently known to us or that we currently deem immaterial may also impair our business operations.
 
Risks Related to Our Business, Industry and Partners

If we are unable to compete in the markets for our products, our financial results will be adversely impacted.
 
The market for our products is extremely competitive, and we expect competition to intensify as current competitors expand their product offerings, industry standards continue to evolve and others realize the market potential of mobile and consumer products and services.

Our current competitors include:
 
suppliers of GPUs, including chipsets that incorporate 3D graphics functionality as part of their existing solutions, such as Advanced Micro Devices, or AMD, Intel, Matrox Electronics Systems Ltd.,  and VIA Technologies, Inc.;


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suppliers of system-on-chip products that support tablets, smartphones, portable media players, internet television, automotive navigation and other similar devices, such as AMD, ARM Holdings plc, Broadcom Corporation, Freescale Semiconductor Inc., Fujitsu Limited, Imagination Technologies Ltd., Intel, Marvell Technology Group Ltd., NEC Corporation, Qualcomm Incorporated, Renesas Technology Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Seiko Epson Corporation, ST-Ericsson, Texas Instruments Incorporated and Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc.;

licensors of graphics technologies such as ARM Holdings plc and Imagination Technologies Group plc and

suppliers of cellular basebands such as , Broadcom Corporation, Freescale Semiconductor Inc., HiSilicon Technologies Co., Ltd., Intel, Marvell Technology Group Ltd., Mediatek, Qualcomm Incorporated, Renesas Technology Corp., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Spreadtrum Communications Co., Ltd, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments Incorporated.
 
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. Furthermore, competitors with greater financial resources may be able to offer lower prices than us, or they may offer additional products, services or other incentives that we may not be able to match. 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 sales, marketing and distribution resources than we do.
 
Our ability to compete will depend on, among other factors, our ability to:
 
continue to keep pace with technological developments;
develop and introduce new products, services, technologies and enhancements on a timely basis;
transition our semiconductor products to increasingly smaller line width geometries;
obtain sufficient foundry capacity and packaging materials; and
succeed in significant foreign markets, such as China and India.
 
If we are unable to compete in our current or new markets, demand for our products could decrease which could cause our revenue to decline and our financial results to suffer.
 
If and to the extent we offer products in new markets, we may face competition from existing competitors as well as from companies with which we currently do not compete.  We expect substantial competition from Intel and AMD, both of whom has a strategy of selling platform solutions, including integrating a CPU and a GPU on the same chip or same package, as evidenced by AMD's announcement of its Fusion processors and Intel's announcement of its family of CPUs codenamed Sandy Bridge.  As Intel and AMD continue to pursue platform solutions and integrated CPUs, our business could be negatively impacted.

We depend on foundries to manufacture our products and these third parties may not be able to satisfy our manufacturing requirements, which would harm our business.

We do not manufacture the silicon wafers used for our products 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, or TSMC, to manufacture our semiconductor wafers using their fabrication equipment and techniques. A substantial portion of our wafers are supplied by TSMC. The foundries, which have limited capacity, also manufacture products for other semiconductor companies, including some of our competitors.  Since we do not have long-term commitment contracts with any of these foundries, they do not have an obligation to provide us with any set pricing or minimum quantity of product at any time except as may be provided in a specific purchase order.   Most of our products are only manufactured by one foundry at a time.  In times of high demand, the foundries could choose to prioritize their capacity for other companies, reduce or eliminate deliveries to us, or increase the prices that they charge us.  If we are unable to meet customer demand due to reduced or eliminated deliveries or have to increase the prices of our products, we could lose sales to customers, which would negatively impact our revenue and our reputation.  
 
Because the lead-time needed to establish a strategic relationship with a new manufacturing partner and achieve initial production could be over a year, we do not have an alternative source of supply for our products. In addition, the time and effort to qualify a new foundry would result in additional expense, diversion of resources, and could result in lost sales, any of which would negatively impact our financial results. We believe that long-term market acceptance for our products will depend on reliable relationships with the third-party manufacturers we use to ensure adequate product supply and competitive pricing to respond to customer demand.
 
 

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If our third-party foundries are not able to transition to new manufacturing process technologies or develop, obtain or successfully implement high quality, leading-edge process technologies our operating results and gross margin could be adversely affected.
 
We use the most advanced manufacturing process technology appropriate for our products that is available from our third-party foundries. As a result, we continuously evaluate the benefits of migrating our products to smaller geometry process technologies in order to improve performance and reduce costs. We believe this strategy will help us remain competitive.  Our current product families are manufactured using 0.18 micron, 0.14 micron, 0.13 micron, 0.11 micron, 90 nanometer, 80 nanometer, 65 nanometer, 55 nanometer and 40 nanometer process technologies.  Manufacturing process technologies are subject to rapid change and require significant expenditures for research and development, which could negatively impact our operating expenses and gross margin.
 
We have experienced difficulty in migrating to new manufacturing processes in the past and, consequently, have suffered reduced yields, delays in product deliveries and increased expense levels. We may face similar difficulties, delays and expenses as we continue to transition our new products to smaller geometry processes. Moreover, we are dependent on our third-party manufacturers to invest sufficient funds in new manufacturing processes in order to have ample capacity for all of their customers and to develop the processes in a timely manner. Our product cycles may also depend on our third-party manufacturers migrating to smaller geometry processes successfully and in time for us to meet our customer demands.  Some of our competitors own their manufacturing facilities and may be able to move to a new state of the art manufacturing process more quickly or more successfully than our manufacturing partners.  If our suppliers fall behind our competitors in manufacturing processes, the development and customer demand for our products and the use of our products could be negatively impacted.  If we are forced to use larger geometric processes in manufacturing a product than our competition, our gross margin may be reduced.  The inability by us or our third-party manufacturers to effectively and efficiently transition to new manufacturing process technologies may adversely affect our operating results and our gross margin.
 
We cannot be certain that our third-party foundries will be able to develop, obtain or successfully implement high quality, leading-edge process technologies needed to manufacturer our products profitably or on a timely basis or that our competitors (including those that own their own manufacturing facilities) will not develop such high quality, leading-edge process technologies earlier. If our third-party foundries experience manufacturing inefficiencies, we may fail to achieve acceptable yields or experience product delivery delays. If our third-party foundries fall behind our competitors (including those that own their own manufacturing facilities), the development and customer demand for our products and the use of our products could be negatively impacted.  Additionally, we cannot be certain that our third-party foundries will manufacture our products at prices that are competitive to what our competitors pay.  If our third-party foundries do not charge us competitive prices, our operating results and gross margin will be negatively impacted. 
 
Failure to achieve expected manufacturing yields for our products could negatively impact our financial results and damage our reputation.
 
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 manufacturer. Low yields may result from either product design or process technology failure.  We do not know a yield problem exists until our design is manufactured.  When a yield issue is identified, the product is analyzed and tested to determine the cause. As a result, yield problems may not be identified until well into the production process. Resolution of yield problems requires cooperation by, and communication between, us and the manufacturer. Because of our potentially limited access to wafer foundry capacity and our recent transition to a wafer buy model where the costs of our products are based on the price per wafer versus price per functional die, decreases in manufacturing yields could result in an increase in our costs and force us to allocate our available product supply among our customers. Lower than expected yields could potentially harm customer relationships, our reputation and our financial results.

Our business results could be adversely affected if the identification and development of new products is delayed or unsuccessful.
 
In order to maintain or improve our financial results, we will need to continue to identify and develop new products and enhancements to our existing products in a timely and cost-effective manner. The process of developing new products and services and enhancing existing products and services is highly complex, costly and uncertain, and any failure by us to anticipate customers' changing needs and emerging technology trends could adversely affect our business. We must make long-term investments and commit significant resources before knowing whether our predictions will accurately reflect customer demand for our new products and technologies.  It is possible that our development efforts will not be successful and that our new technologies will not result in meaningful revenues.   Even if we introduce new and enhanced products to the market, we may not be able to achieve market acceptance of them in a timely manner.

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Our ability to successfully develop and deliver new products will depend on various factors, including our ability to:
 
effectively identify and capitalize upon opportunities in new markets;
timely complete and introduce new products and technologies;
transition our semiconductor products to increasingly smaller line width geometries; and
obtain sufficient foundry capacity and packaging materials.
 
We occasionally have experienced delays in completing the development and introduction of new products and product enhancements, and we could experience delays in the future. In addition, in the past, we have been unable to successfully manage product transitions from older to newer products resulting in obsolete inventory. Our failure to successfully develop and introduce new products and technologies or identify new uses for existing or future products, could result in rapidly declining average selling prices, reduced demand for our products or loss of market share any of which could harm our competitive position and cause our revenue, gross margin and overall financial results to suffer.
 
If we are unable to achieve market acceptance and design wins for our products and technologies, our results of operations and competitive position will be harmed.
 
The success of our business depends to a significant extent on our ability to achieve market acceptance of our new products and enhancements to our existing products and identify and enter new markets. The market for our product and technologies has been characterized by unpredictable and sometimes rapid shifts in the popularity of products, often caused by the publication of competitive industry benchmark results, changes in pricing of dynamic random-access memory devices and other changes in the total system cost of add-in boards, as well as by severe price competition and by frequent new technology and product introductions. Broad market acceptance is difficult to achieve and such market acceptance, if achieved, is difficult to sustain due to intense competition and frequent new technology and product introductions.   If we do not successfully achieve or maintain market acceptance for our products and enhancements or identify and enter new markets, our ability to compete and maintain or increase revenues will suffer.
 
Additionally, there can be no assurance that the industry will continue to demand new products with improved standards, features or performance. If our customers, original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, original design manufacturers, or ODMs, add-in-card and motherboard manufacturers, system builders and consumer electronics companies, do not continue to design products that require more advanced or efficient processors and/or the market does not continue to demand new products with increased performance, features, functionality or standards, sales of our products could decline and the markets for our products could shrink. Decreased sales of our products for these markets could negatively impact our revenue and our financial results.        
 
We believe achieving design wins, which entails having our existing and future products chosen for hardware components or subassemblies designed by OEMs, ODMs, and add-in board, or AIB, and motherboard manufacturers is an integral part of our future success. 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. Accordingly, when our customers are making their design decisions, our existing products must have competitive performance levels or we must timely introduce new products in order to be included in our customers' new system configurations. This requires that we:

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;
price our products competitively; and
introduce products to the market within our customers' limited design cycles.
 
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. Therefore, we endeavor to develop close relationships with our OEMs and ODMs, in an attempt to better anticipate and address customer needs in new products so that we will achieve design wins.
 

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Our ability to achieve design wins also depends in part on our ability to identify and be compliant with evolving industry standards. Unanticipated changes in industry standards could render our products incompatible with products developed by major hardware manufacturers and software developers.  If our products are not in compliance with prevailing industry standards, we may not be designed into our customers' product designs.  However, to be compliant with changes to industry standards, we may have to invest significant time and resources to redesign our products which could negatively impact our gross margin or operating results. If we are unable to achieve new design wins for existing or new customers, we may lose market share and our operating results would be negatively impacted.
 
If new consumer products and technologies which incorporate our products do not achieve market acceptance, our business could be negatively impacted.
 
The success of our business also depends on market acceptance of new consumer products and technologies, such as smartphones, smartbooks, tablets and other similar consumer electronics devices, which contain our products.  As markets for these new consumer products emerge, we may encounter new sources of competition as well as customers who have different requirements than those in the PC business.  If market acceptance of such products and technologies is not attained, our ability to compete and maintain or increase revenues will be adversely affected.
 
Our ability to be successful in emerging consumer product markets depends in part on our ability to cultivate new industry relationships in these market segments.  As the number and variety of Internet-connected devices increase, we will need to improve the functionality of our products to succeed in these new markets, which may require significant time and resources on our part to design our products which could negatively impact our business.
 
Business disruptions could seriously harm our future revenue and financial condition and increase our costs and expenses.
 
Our worldwide operations could be disrupted by earthquakes, telecommunications failures, power or water shortages, tsunamis, floods, hurricanes, typhoons, fires, extreme weather conditions, climate change, medical epidemics or pandemics and other natural or man-made disasters or catastrophic events. The occurrence of any of these business disruptions could result in significant losses, seriously harm our revenue and financial condition, adversely affect our competitive position, increase our costs and expenses, and 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 data centers 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 adversely affected if manufacturing, logistics or other operations in these locations are disrupted for any reason, including natural disasters, information technology system failures, military actions or economic, business, labor, environmental, public health, regulatory or political issues. The ultimate impact on us, our significant suppliers and our general infrastructure of being located near major earthquake faults and being consolidated in certain geographical areas is unknown. However, in the event of a major earthquake or other natural disaster or catastrophic event, our revenue, profitability and financial condition could suffer.
 
In late July 2011, Thailand began experiencing severe flooding that has caused widespread damage to the local manufacturing industry. PC manufacturers obtain disk drive components used in its PCs from suppliers with operations in Thailand that were and continue to be severely impacted by the flooding. These PC manufacturers have and expect to continue to experience a short-term reduction in the supply of these disk drive components. As a result, in our fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012 shipments of PCs by some PC manufacturers were reduced, which reduced the demand for our GPUs. In addition, higher disk-drive prices constrained the ability of some PC manufacturers to include a GPU in their systems which also reduced demand for our GPUs and negatively impacted our financial results for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012.
 

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A decline in demand in certain end-user markets could have a material adverse effect on the demand for our products and results of operations.
 
Our customer base includes companies in a wide range of end-user markets, but we generate a significant amount of revenue from sales to customers in the communications-and computer-related industries. Within these end-user markets, a large portion of our revenue is generated from sales to customers in the cell phone, tablet and PC markets, including professional workstations. Decline in one or several of these end-user markets could have a material adverse effect on the demand for our products and our results of operations and financial condition. These declines could be large and sudden. Since PC, cell phone and tablet manufacturers often build inventories during periods of anticipated growth, they may be left with excess inventories if growth slows or if they incorrectly forecast product transitions. In these cases, these manufacturers may abruptly suspend substantially all purchases of additional inventory from suppliers like us until their excess inventory has been absorbed, which would have a negative impact on our financial results.
 
We sell our products to a small number of customers and our business could suffer if we lose any of these customers.
 
We receive a significant amount of our revenue from a limited number of customers.  Revenue from significant customers, those representing 10% or more of total revenue, aggregated approximately 11% of our total revenue from one customer for the fiscal year 2012 and approximately 12% of our total revenue from another customer for fiscal years 2011 and 2010.  Sales to our largest customers have fluctuated significantly from period to period primarily due to the timing and number of design wins with each customer, as well as the continued diversification of our customer base as we expand into new markets, and will likely continue to fluctuate dramatically in the future. Our operating results in the foreseeable future will continue to depend on sales to a relatively small number of customers, as well as the ability of these customers to sell products that incorporate our products. In the future, these customers may decide not to purchase our products at all, purchase fewer products than they did in the past, or alter their purchasing patterns in some other way, particularly because:
 
substantially all 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 customers may develop their own solutions;
our customers may purchase products from our competitors; or
our customers 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 sales we make to them would likely harm our financial condition and results of operations.
 
If we fail to appropriately scale our operations in response to changes in demand for our existing products or to the demand for new products requested by our customers, our business and profitability could be materially and adversely affected.
 
To achieve our business objectives, it may be necessary from time to time for us to expand or contract our operations. In the future, we may not be able to scale our workforce and operations in a sufficiently timely manner to respond effectively to changes in demand for our existing products or to the demand for new products requested by our customers. In that event, we may be unable to meet competitive challenges or exploit potential market opportunities, and our current or future business could be materially and adversely affected. Conversely, if we expand our operations and workforce too rapidly in anticipation of increased demand for our products, and such demand does not materialize at the pace at which we expected, the rate of increase in our costs and operating expenses may exceed the rate of increase in our revenue, which would adversely affect our results of operations. In addition, if such demand does not materialize at the pace which we expect, we may be required to scale down our business through expense and headcount reductions as well as facility consolidations or closures that could result in restructuring charges that would materially and adversely affect our results of operations. Because many of our expenses are fixed in the short-term or are incurred in advance of anticipated sales, we may not be able to decrease our expenses in a timely manner to offset any decrease in customer demand. If customer demand does not increase as anticipated, our profitability could be adversely affected due to our higher expense levels.
 
Our past growth has placed, and any future long-term growth is expected to continue to place, a significant strain on our management personnel, systems and resources. To implement our current business and product plans, we will need to continue to expand, train, manage and motivate our workforce.  All of these endeavors require substantial management effort. If we are unable to effectively manage our expanding operations, we may be unable to scale our business quickly enough to meet competitive challenges or exploit potential market opportunities, or conversely, we may scale our business too quickly and the rate of increase in our costs and expenses may exceed the rate of increase in our revenue, either of which would materially and adversely affect our results of operations.


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Our revenue may fluctuate while our operating expenses are relatively fixed, which makes our results difficult to predict and could cause our results to fall short of expectations.
 
Demand for many of our revenue components fluctuates and is difficult to predict, and our operating expenses are relatively fixed and largely independent of revenue. Therefore, it is difficult for us to accurately forecast revenue and profits or losses in any particular period.  Our operating expenses, which are comprised of research and development expenses and sales, general and administrative expenses, represented 35.2%, 32.6% and 38.3% of our total revenue for fiscal years 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively. Since we often recognize a substantial portion of our revenue in the last month of each quarter, we may not be able to adjust our operating expenses in a timely manner in response to any unanticipated revenue shortfalls in any quarter. Further, some of our operating expenses, like stock-based compensation expense, can only be adjusted over a longer period of time and cannot be reduced during a quarter.  If we are unable to reduce operating expenses quickly in response to any revenue shortfalls, our financial results will be negatively impacted.
 
Any one or more of the risks discussed in this Annual Report on Form 10-K or other factors could prevent us from achieving our expected future revenue or net income. Accordingly, we believe that period-to-period comparisons of our results of operations should not be relied upon as an indication of future performance. Similarly, the results of any quarterly or full fiscal year period are not necessarily indicative of results to be expected for a subsequent quarter or a full fiscal year. As a result, it is possible that in some quarters our operating results could be below the expectations of securities analysts or investors, which could cause the trading price of our common stock to decline. We believe that our quarterly and annual results of operations may continue to be affected by a variety of factors that could harm our revenue, gross profit and results of operations.

Because our gross margin for any period depends on a number of factors, our failure to forecast changes in any of these factors could adversely affect our gross margin.
 
We are focused on improving 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;
product transitions;
sales discounts;
unexpected pricing actions by our competitors;
the cost of product components; and
the yield of wafers produced by the foundries that manufacture our products.
 
If we do not correctly forecast the impact of any of the relevant factors on our business, there may not be any actions we can take or we may not be able to take any possible actions in time to counteract any negative impact on our gross margin.   In addition, if we are unable to meet our gross margin target for any period or the target set by analysts, the trading price of our common stock may decline. 
  
Global economic conditions may adversely affect our business and financial results.
 
Our operations and performance depend significantly on worldwide economic conditions. Uncertainty about current global economic conditions poses a continuing risk to our business as consumers and businesses have postponed spending in response to tighter credit, negative financial news and/or declines in income or asset values, which have reduced the demand for our products.  
 
Other factors that could depress demand for our products in the future include the European sovereign debt crisis, conditions in the residential real estate and mortgage markets, expectations for inflation, labor and healthcare costs, access to credit, consumer confidence, and other macroeconomic factors affecting consumer and business spending behavior. These and other economic factors have reduced demand for our products in the past and could further harm our business, financial condition and operating results.
 

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Our business is cyclical in nature and has experienced severe downturns that have harmed, and may in the future harm, our business and financial results.
 
Our business is directly affected by market conditions in the highly cyclical semiconductor industry. The semiconductor industry has been adversely affected by many factors, including the global downturn, ongoing efforts by our customers to reduce their spending, diminished product demand, increased inventory levels, lower average selling prices, uncertainty regarding long-term growth rates and underlying financial health and increased competition. These factors, could, among other things, limit our ability to maintain or increase our sales or recognize revenue and in turn adversely affect our business, operating results and financial condition.  If our actions to reduce our operating expenses to sufficiently offset these factors when they occur are unsuccessful, our operating results will suffer.
 
Our stock price continues to be volatile and investors may suffer losses.
 
Our stock has at times experienced substantial price volatility as a result of variations between our actual and anticipated financial results, announcements by us and our competitors, or uncertainty about current global economic conditions. The stock market as a whole also has experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations that have affected the market price of many technology companies in ways that may have been unrelated to these companies' operating performance.
 
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. For example, following our announcement in July 2008 that we would take a charge against cost of revenue to cover anticipated costs and expenses arising from a weak die/packaging material set in certain versions of our previous generation media and communication processor, or MCP and GPU products and that we were revising financial guidance for our second fiscal quarter of 2009, the trading price of our common stock declined.  In September, October and November 2008, several putative class action lawsuits were filed against us relating to this announcement. Please refer to Note 14 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Form 10-K for further information regarding these lawsuits. Due to changes in the potential volatility of our stock price, we may be the target of securities litigation in the future. Such lawsuits could 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. 
 
Our failure to estimate customer demand properly could adversely affect our financial results.
 
We manufacture our products based on forecasts of customer demand in order to have shorter shipment lead times and quicker delivery schedules for our customers.  As a result, 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 forecasting 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 the semiconductor industry and/or overall economy;
changes in consumer confidence caused by changes in market conditions, including changes in the credit market, expectations for inflation, and energy prices;
if there were a sudden and significant decrease in demand for our products;
if there were a higher incidence of inventory obsolescence because of rapidly changing technology and customer requirements;
if we fail to estimate customer demand properly for our older products as our newer products are introduced; or
if our competition were to take unexpected competitive pricing actions.
 
Any inability to sell products to which we have devoted resources could harm our business. In addition, cancellation or deferral of customer purchase orders could result in our holding excess inventory, which could adversely affect our gross margin and restrict our ability to fund operations. Additionally, 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 subject to excess or obsolete inventories and be required to take corresponding inventory write-downs and/or a reduction in average selling prices if growth slows or does not materialize, or if we incorrectly forecast product demand, which could negatively impact our financial results.
 

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Conversely, if we underestimate our customers' demand for our products, our third-party manufacturing partners may not have adequate lead-time or capacity to increase production for us meaning that we may not be able to obtain sufficient inventory to fill our 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. Inability to fulfill our customers' orders on a timely basis, or at all, could damage our customer relationships, result in lost revenue, cause a loss in market share, impact our customer relationships or damage our reputation, any of which could adversely impact our business.
 
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 acquired and invested in other businesses that offered products, services and technologies that we believe will help expand or enhance our existing products and business. Most recently, we completed our acquisition of Icera Inc., an innovator of baseband processors for 3G and 4G cellular phones and tablets.  Such a transaction can involve significant integration challenges and there can be no assurance that pre-acquisition due diligence will have identified all possible issues and risks that might arise with respect to the acquisition. If we are unable to timely and successfully integrate the acquired operations, product lines and technology of Icera, we may not be able to realize the expected benefits of the acquisition, which could adversely affect our business plans and operating results.
 
We may enter into future acquisitions of, or investments in, businesses, in order to complement or expand our current businesses or enter into a new business market. Negotiations associated with an acquisition or strategic investment could divert management's attention and other company resources. Any of the following risks associated with past or future acquisitions or investments could impair our ability to grow our business, develop new products, our ability to sell our products, and ultimately could have a negative impact on our growth or our financial results:
  
difficulty in combining the technology, products, operations or workforce of the acquired business with our business;
difficulty in operating in a new or multiple new locations;
disruption of our ongoing businesses or the ongoing business of the company we invest in or acquire;
difficulty in realizing the potential financial or strategic benefits of the transaction;
difficulty in maintaining uniform standards, controls, procedures and policies;
difficulty integrating the target's accounting, management information, human resources and other administrative systems;
disruption of or delays in ongoing research and development efforts;
diversion of capital and other resources;
assumption of liabilities;
incurring acquisition-related costs or amortization costs for acquired intangible assets that could impact our operating results;
diversion of resources and unanticipated expenses resulting from litigation arising from potential or actual business acquisitions or investments;
potential failure of the due diligence processes to identify significant issues with product quality, architecture and development, or legal and financial contingencies, among other things;
difficulties in entering into new markets in which we have limited or no experience and where competitors in such markets have stronger positions;
incurring significant exit charges if products acquired in business combinations are unsuccessful;
potential inability to obtain, or obtain in a timely manner, approvals from governmental authorities, which could delay or prevent such acquisitions or investments;
potential delay in customer and distributor purchasing decisions due to uncertainty about the direction of our product offerings; and
impairment of relationships with employees, vendors and customers, or the loss of any of our key employees, vendors or customers our target's key employees, vendors or customers, as a result of our acquisition or investment.
 

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In addition, the consideration for any future acquisition could be paid in cash, shares of our common stock, the issuance of convertible debt securities or a combination of cash, convertible debt and common stock. If we make an investment in cash or use cash to pay for all or a portion of an acquisition, our cash reserves would be reduced which could negatively impact the growth of our business or our ability to develop new products. However, if we pay the consideration with shares of common stock, or convertible debentures, the holdings of our existing stockholders would be diluted. The significant decline in the trading price of our common stock would make the dilution to our stockholders more extreme and could negatively impact our ability to pay the consideration with shares of common stock or convertible debentures. We cannot forecast the number, timing or size of future strategic investments or acquisitions, or the effect that any such investments or acquisitions might have on our operations or financial results.

System security risks, data protection breaches, cyber-attacks and systems integration issues could disrupt our internal operations, and any such disruption could reduce our expected revenue, increase our expenses, damage our reputation and adversely affect our stock price.
Experienced computer programmers and hackers may be able to penetrate our security controls and misappropriate or compromise our confidential information or that of third parties, create system disruptions or cause shutdowns. Computer programmers and hackers also may be able to develop and deploy viruses, worms and other malicious software programs that attack our products or otherwise exploit any security vulnerabilities of our products. The costs to us to eliminate or alleviate cyber or other security problems, bugs, viruses, worms, malicious software programs and security vulnerabilities could be significant, and our efforts to address these problems may not be successful and could result in interruptions, delays, cessation of service and loss of existing or potential customers that may impede our sales, manufacturing, distribution or other critical functions.
We manage and store various proprietary information and sensitive or confidential data relating to our business and third party business. Breaches of our security measures or the accidental loss, inadvertent disclosure or unapproved dissemination of proprietary information or sensitive or confidential data about us or our partners or customers, including the potential loss or disclosure of such information or data as a result of fraud, trickery or other forms of deception, could expose us, our partners and customers or the individuals affected to a risk of loss or misuse of this information, result in litigation and potential liability for us, damage our brand and reputation or otherwise harm our business. In addition, the cost and operational consequences of implementing further data protection measures could be significant.
Portions of our IT infrastructure also may experience interruptions, delays or cessations of service or produce errors in connection with systemic failures, systems integration or migration work that takes place from time to time. We may not be successful in implementing new systems and transitioning data, which could cause business disruptions and be more expensive, time consuming, disruptive and resource-intensive. Such disruptions could adversely impact our ability to fulfill orders and interrupt other processes. Delayed sales, lower margins or lost customers resulting from these disruptions could adversely affect, our financial results, stock price and reputation.
 
Any difficulties in collecting accounts receivable, including from foreign customers, could harm our operating results and financial condition.
 
Our accounts receivable are highly concentrated and make us vulnerable to adverse changes in our customers' businesses, and to downturns in the industry and the worldwide economy.  We recorded approximately 20% and 11% of our accounts receivable balance from the same customer at January 29, 2012 and January 30, 2011, respectively.
 
Difficulties in collecting accounts receivable could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. These difficulties are heightened during periods when economic conditions worsen. We continue to work directly with more foreign customers and it may be difficult to collect accounts receivable from them. We maintain an allowance for doubtful accounts for estimated losses resulting from the inability of our customers to make required payments. This allowance consists of an amount identified for specific customers and an amount based on overall estimated exposure. If the financial condition of our customers were to deteriorate, resulting in an impairment in their ability to make payments, additional allowances may be required, we may be required to defer revenue recognition on sales to affected customers, and we may be required to pay higher credit insurance premiums, any of which could adversely affect our operating results. In the future, we may have to record additional reserves or write-offs and/or defer revenue on certain sales transactions which could negatively impact our financial results.
 
We obtain credit insurance over the purchasing credit extended to certain customers. As a result of the tightening of the credit markets, we may not be able to acquire credit insurance on the credit we extend to these customers or in amounts that we deem sufficient. While we have procedures to monitor and limit exposure to credit risk on our accounts receivable, there can be no assurance such procedures will effectively limit our credit risk or avoid losses, which could harm our financial condition or operating results.
 

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We may not be able to attract and retain qualified employees which could negatively impact our business.
 
Our future success and ability to compete is substantially dependent on our ability to identify, hire, train and retain highly qualified key personnel.  The market for key employees in the technology industry can be competitive.  None of our key employees is bound by an employment agreement, meaning our relationships with all of our key employees are at will.  The loss of the services of any of our other key employees without an adequate replacement or our inability to hire new employees as needed could delay our product development efforts, harm our ability to sell our products or otherwise negatively impact our business.
 
In addition, we rely on stock-based awards as a means for recruiting, motivating and retaining highly skilled talent.  If the value of such stock awards does not appreciate as measured by the performance of the price of our common stock or if our share-based compensation otherwise ceases to be viewed as a valuable benefit, our ability to attract, retain, and motivate employees could be weakened, which could harm our results of operations. 
 
We are dependent on third parties for assembly, testing and packaging of our products, which reduce our control over the delivery schedule, product quantity or product quality.
 
Our products are assembled, tested and packaged by independent subcontractors, such as Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, Inc., Amkor Technology, ChipPAC, JSI Logistics, Ltd., King Yuan Electronics Co. and Siliconware Precision Industries Co. Ltd. As a result, we do not directly control our product delivery schedules, product quantity, or product quality.  All of these subcontractors assemble, test and package products for other companies, including some of our competitors.  Since we do not have long-term agreements with our subcontractors, when demand for subcontractors to assemble, test or package products is high, our subcontractors may decide to prioritize the orders of other customers over our orders.  Since the time required to qualify a different subcontractor to assemble, test or package our products can be lengthy, if we have to find a replacement subcontractor we could experience significant delays in shipments of our products, product shortages, a decrease in the quality of our products, or an increase in product cost. Any product shortages or quality assurance problems could increase the costs of manufacture, assembly or testing of our products, which could cause our gross margin and revenue to decline. 
 
We rely on third-party vendors to supply software development tools to us for the development of our new products and we may be unable to obtain the tools necessary to develop or enhance new or existing products.
 
We rely on third-party software development tools to assist us in the design, simulation and verification of new products or product enhancements. To bring new products or product enhancements to market in a timely manner, or at all, we need software development tools that are sophisticated enough or technologically advanced enough to complete our design, simulations and verifications.  In the past, we have experienced delays in the introduction of products as a result of the inability of then available software development tools to fully simulate the complex features and functionalities of our products. In the future, 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.  Unavailability of software development tools may result in our missing design cycles or losing design wins, either of which could result in a loss of market share or negatively impact our operating results.
 
Because of the importance of software development tools to the development and enhancement of our products, a critical component of our product development efforts is our partnerships with leaders in the computer-aided design industry, including Cadence Design Systems, Inc. and Synopsys, Inc. We have invested significant resources to develop relationships with these industry leaders and have often assisted them in the 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 the 3D graphics, communications and networking segments and develop products that utilize leading-edge technology on a rapid basis. If these relationships are not successful, we may be unable to develop new products or product enhancements in a timely manner, which could result in a loss of market share, a decrease in revenue or negatively impact our operating results.
 
 If our products contain significant defects, our financial results could be negatively impacted, our reputation could be damaged and we could lose market share.
 
 Our products are complex and may contain defects or experience failures due to any number of issues in design, fabrication, packaging, materials and/or use within a system. If any of our products or technologies contains a defect, compatibility issue or other error, we may have to invest additional research and development efforts to find and correct the issue.  Such efforts could divert our engineers' attention from the development of new products and technologies and could increase our operating costs and reduce our gross margin. 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. Also, we may be required to reimburse customers, including our customers' costs to repair or replace products in the field. A product recall or a significant

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number of product returns could be expensive, damage our reputation, could result in the shifting of business to our competitors and could result in litigation against us. Costs associated with correcting defects, errors, bugs or other issues could be significant and could materially harm our financial results.  During fiscal years 2011, 2010 and 2009, we recorded net warranty charges of $466.4 million against cost of revenue to cover anticipated customer warranty, repair, return, replacement and other costs arising from a weak die/packaging material set used in certain versions of our previous generation MCP, and GPU products used in notebook configurations and shipped after July 2008. Please see the risk entitled “We are subject to litigation arising from alleged defects in our previous generation MCP and GPU products which, if determined adversely to us, could harm our business” for further information regarding this product defect. 
 
We may have to invest more resources in research and development than anticipated, which could increase our operating expenses and negatively impact our operating results.
 
If new competitors, technological advances by existing competitors, our entry into new markets, or other competitive factors require us to invest significantly greater resources than anticipated in our research and development efforts, our operating expenses would increase.  Our engineering and technical resources included 5,042, 4,161 and 3,940 full-time employees as of January 29, 2012, January 30, 2011 and January 31, 2010, respectively.  Research and development expenditures were $1,002.6 million, $848.8 million and $908.9 million for fiscal years 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively.   If we are required to invest significantly greater resources than anticipated in research and development efforts without a corresponding increase in revenue, our operating results could decline. Research and development expenses are likely to fluctuate from time to time to the extent we make periodic incremental investments in research and development and these investments may be independent of our level of revenue which could negatively impact our financial results. In order to remain competitive, we anticipate that we will continue to devote substantial resources to research and development, and we expect these expenses to increase in absolute dollars in the foreseeable future due to the increased complexity and the greater number of products under development.
 
We are subject to risks associated with international operations which may harm our business.
 
We conduct our business worldwide.  Our semiconductor wafers are manufactured, assembled, tested and packaged by third-parties located outside of the United States and other Americas.  We generated 78%, 83%, and 84% of our revenue for fiscal years 2012, 2011 and 2010 respectively, from sales to customers outside the United States and other Americas.  As of January 29, 2012, we had offices in 15 countries outside of the United States.  The manufacture, assembly, test and packaging of our products outside of the United States, operation of offices outside of the United States, and sales to customers internationally subjects us to a number of risks, 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;  
complying with a variety of foreign laws;
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 (FCPA) and other anticorruption laws and regulations;
inadequate local infrastructure that could result in business disruptions;
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 fluctuations in currency exchange rates;
imposition of additional taxes and penalties; and
other factors beyond our control such as terrorism, cyber attack, civil unrest, war and diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome and the Avian flu.
 
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.
 
Our international operations in Canada, China, Hong Kong, Finland, France, Germany, India, Japan, Korea, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United Kingdom are subject to many of the above listed risks. Difficulties with our international operations, including finding appropriate staffing and office space, may divert management's attention and other resources any of which could negatively impact our operating results.


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Legal and regulatory requirements differ among jurisdictions worldwide. Violations of these laws and regulations could result in fines; criminal sanctions against us, our officers, or our employees; prohibitions on the conduct of our business; and damage to our reputation. Although we have policies, controls, and procedures designed to ensure compliance with foreign laws, many of these laws and regulations are ambiguous and are often interpreted and enforced in unpredictable ways.
 
The economic conditions in our primary overseas markets, particularly in Asia, may negatively impact the demand for our products abroad. All of our international sales to date have been denominated in United States dollars. Accordingly, an increase in the value of the United States dollar relative to foreign currencies could make our products less competitive in international markets or require us to assume the risk of denominating certain sales in foreign currencies. We anticipate that these factors will impact our business to a greater degree as we further expand our international business activities.
 
Our investment portfolio may become impaired by deterioration of the capital markets.
 
Our cash equivalent and short-term investment portfolio as of January 29, 2012 consisted of cash and cash equivalents, commercial paper, mortgage-backed securities issued by Government-sponsored enterprises, money market funds and debt securities of corporations, municipalities and the United States government and its agencies. We follow an established investment policy and set of guidelines, designed to preserve principal, minimize risk, monitor and help mitigate our exposure to interest rate and credit risk.  The policy sets forth credit quality standards and limits our exposure to any one issuer, as well as our maximum exposure to various asset classes, variety of financial instruments, consisting principally of cash and cash equivalents, commercial paper, mortgage-backed securities issued by Government-sponsored enterprises, money market funds and debt securities of corporations, municipalities and the United States government and its agencies.
 
Should financial market conditions worsen in the future, investments in some financial instruments may pose risks arising from market liquidity and credit concerns. In addition, any deterioration of the capital markets could cause our other income and expense to vary from expectations. As of January 29, 2012 we had no material impairment charges associated with our short-term investment portfolio, and although we believe our current investment portfolio has very little risk of material impairment, we cannot predict future market conditions or market liquidity, or credit availability, and can provide no assurance that our investment portfolio will remain materially unimpaired. 
 
Risks Related to Regulatory, Legal, Our Common Stock and Other Matters
 
We are subject to litigation arising from alleged defects in our previous generation MCP and GPU products which, if determined adversely to us, could harm our business.
 
As of January 29, 2012, we recorded a total cumulative net warranty charge of $475.9 million, of which $466.4 million has been charged against cost of revenue, to cover anticipated customer warranty, repair, return, replacement and other costs arising from a weak die/packaging material set used in certain versions of our previous generation MCP and GPU products shipped after July 2008 and used in notebook configuration. The previous generation MCP and GPU products that are impacted were included in a number of notebook products that were shipped and sold in significant quantities. Certain notebook configurations of these MCP and GPU products are failing in the field at higher than normal rates.   Testing suggests a weak material set of die/package combination, system thermal management designs, and customer use patterns are contributing factors for these failures.  We have worked with our customers to develop and have made available for download a software driver to cause the system fan to begin operation at the powering up of the system and reduce the thermal stress on these chips. We have also recommended to our customers that they consider changing the thermal management of the products in their notebook system designs. Although we believe this issue has been nearly fully remediated, we remain committed to fully support our customers in their repair and replacement of these impacted products that fail, and their other efforts to mitigate the consequences of these failures.
 
We continue to not see any abnormal failure rates in any systems using NVIDIA products other than certain notebook configurations. However, we are continuing to test and otherwise investigate other products. There can be no assurance that we will not discover defects in other products.

In September, October and November 2008, several putative securities class action lawsuits were filed against us, asserting various claims related to the impacted MCP and GPU products.  Such lawsuits could 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 this litigation, a ruling against us, or a settlement of the litigation could adversely affect our cash flow and financial results.
 
 


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We are a party to other litigation, including patent litigation, which, if determined adversely to us, could adversely affect our cash flow and financial results.
  
We are a party to other litigation as both a defendant and as a plaintiff.  For example, we are engaged in litigation with parties related to our acquisition of 3dfx in 2001. Please refer to Note 14 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV of this Form 10-K for further details on this lawsuit. There can be no assurance that any litigation to which we are a party will be resolved in our favor. Any claim that is successfully decided against us may cause us to pay substantial damages, including punitive damages, and other related fees or prevent us from selling or importing certain of our products. Regardless of whether lawsuits are resolved in our favor or if we are the plaintiff or the defendant in the litigation, any lawsuits to which we are a party will likely be expensive and time consuming to defend or resolve. Such lawsuits could also harm our relationships with existing customers and result in the diversion of management's time and attention away from business operations, which could harm our business. 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.
 
Changes in United States tax legislation regarding our foreign earnings could materially impact our business.
 
Currently, a majority of our revenue is generated from customers located outside the United States, and a significant portion of our assets, including employees, are located outside the United States.  United States income taxes and foreign withholding taxes have not been provided on undistributed earnings for certain non-United States subsidiaries, because such earnings are intended to be indefinitely reinvested in the operations of those subsidiaries.  Throughout the period of President Obama's administration and as recently as on February 13, 2012 with the release of the administration's fiscal year 2013 budget, the White House has proposed various international tax measures, some of which, if enacted into law would substantially reduce our ability to defer United States taxes on such indefinitely reinvested non-United States earnings, eliminate certain tax deductions until foreign earnings are repatriated to the United States and/or otherwise cause the total tax cost of U.S. multinational corporations to increase. If these or similar proposals are constituted into legislation in the current or future year(s), they could have a negative impact on our financial position and results of operations.
 
Our operating results may be adversely affected if we are subject to unexpected tax liabilities.
 
We are subject to taxation by a number of taxing authorities both in the United States and throughout the world. Tax rates vary among the jurisdictions in which we operate. Significant judgment is required in determining our provision for our income taxes as there are many transactions and calculations where the ultimate tax determination is uncertain. Although we believe our tax estimates are reasonable, any of the below could cause our effective tax rate to be materially different than that which is reflected in historical income tax provisions and accruals:
 
the jurisdictions in which profits are determined to be earned and taxed;
adjustments to estimated taxes upon finalization of various tax returns;
changes in available tax credits;
changes in share-based compensation expense;
changes in tax laws, the interpretation of tax laws either in the United States or abroad or the issuance of  new interpretative accounting guidance related to uncertain transactions and calculations where the tax  treatment was previously uncertain; and
the resolution of issues arising from tax audits with various tax authorities.
   
Should additional taxes be assessed as a result of any of the above, our operating results could be adversely affected. In addition, our future effective tax rate could be adversely affected by changes in the mix of earnings in countries with differing statutory tax rates, changes in tax laws or changes in the interpretation of tax laws.
 
Litigation to defend against alleged infringement of intellectual property rights or to enforce our intellectual property rights and the outcome of such litigation could result in substantial costs to us.
 
We expect that as the number of issued hardware and software patents increases and as competition intensifies, the volume of intellectual property infringement claims and lawsuits may increase. We may in the future become involved in lawsuits or other legal proceedings alleging patent infringement or other intellectual property rights violations by us or by our customers that we have agreed to indemnify them 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.
 

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In addition, in the future, we may need to commence litigation or other legal proceedings in order to: 
 
assert claims of infringement of our intellectual property;
enforce our patents;
protect our trade secrets or know-how; or
determine the enforceability, scope and validity of the propriety rights of others.
 
If we have to initiate litigation in order to protect our intellectual property, our operating expenses may increase which could negatively impact our operating results. Our failure to effectively protect our intellectual property could harm our business.
 
If infringement claims are made against us or our products are found to infringe a third parties' patent or intellectual property, we or one of our indemnified customers may have to seek a license to the third parties' 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 indemnified customers 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 may increase our operating expenses which could negatively impact our operating results.
 
Our ability to compete will be harmed if we are unable to adequately protect our intellectual property.
 
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. 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 in Asia, 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 particular innovations and technologies based on such factors as: 
 
the commercial significance of our operations and our competitors' operations in particular countries and regions;
the location in which our products are manufactured;
our strategic technology or product directions in different countries; and
the degree to which intellectual property laws exist and are meaningfully enforced in different jurisdictions.
 
Our pending patent applications and any future applications may not be approved. In addition, any issued patents may not provide us with competitive advantages or may be challenged by third parties. The enforcement of patents by others may harm our ability to conduct our business. Others may independently develop substantially equivalent intellectual property or otherwise gain access to our trade secrets or intellectual property. Our failure to effectively protect our intellectual property could harm our business.
 
  On September 16, 2011, the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, or the Leahy-Smith Act, was signed into law. The Leahy-Smith Act includes a number of significant changes to United States patent law. These include provisions that affect the way patent applications will be prosecuted and may also affect patent litigation. The United States Patent Office is currently developing regulations and procedures to govern administration of the Leahy-Smith Act, and many of the substantive changes to patent law associated with the Leahy-Smith Act will not become effective until one year or 18 months after its enactment. Accordingly, it is not clear what, if any, impact the Leahy-Smith Act will have on the operation of our business. However, the Leahy-Smith Act and its implementation could increase the uncertainties and costs surrounding the prosecution of our patent applications and the enforcement or defense of our issued patents, all of which could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition.
  
Government investigations and inquiries from regulatory agencies could lead to enforcement actions, fines or other penalties and could result in litigation against us.
 
In the past, we have been subject to government investigations and inquiries from regulatory agencies such as the Department of Justice and the SEC.  We may be subject to government investigations and receive additional inquiries from regulatory agencies in the future, which may lead to enforcement actions, fines or other penalties.
 

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In addition, litigation has often been brought against a company in connection with the announcement of a government investigation or inquiry from a regulatory agency.  Such lawsuits could 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.
 
We are subject to the risks of owning real property.
 
During fiscal year 2009, we purchased real property in Santa Clara, California that includes approximately 25 acres of land and ten commercial buildings.  We also own real property in China and India. We have limited experience in the ownership and management of real property and are subject to the risks of owning real property, including:
 
the possibility of environmental contamination and the costs associated with mitigating any environmental problems;
adverse changes in the value of these properties, due to interest rate changes, changes in the market in which the property is located, or other factors;
the risk of loss if we decide to sell and are not able to recover all capitalized costs;
increased cash commitments for the possible construction of a campus;
the possible need for structural improvements in order to comply with zoning, seismic and other legal or regulatory requirements;
increased operating expenses for the buildings or the property or both;
possible disputes with third parties, such as neighboring owners or others, related to the buildings or the  property or both; and
the risk of financial loss in excess of amounts covered by insurance, or uninsured risks, such as the loss caused by damage to the buildings as a result of earthquakes, floods and or other natural disasters.
 
Expensing employee equity compensation adversely affects our operating results and could also adversely affect our competitive position.
 
Since inception, we have used equity through our equity incentive plans and our employee stock purchase program as a fundamental component of our compensation packages. We believe that these programs directly motivate our employees and, through the use of vesting, encourage our employees to remain with us. 
 
We record compensation expense for stock options, restricted stock units and our employee stock purchase plan using the fair value of those awards in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in United States of America, or U.S. GAAP. Stock-based compensation expense was $136.4 million, $100.4 million and $107.1 million for fiscal years 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively, related to on-going vesting of equity awards, which negatively impacted our operating results.
 
To the extent that expensing employee equity compensation makes it more expensive to grant stock options and restricted stock units or to continue to have an employee stock purchase program, we may decide to incur increased cash compensation costs. In addition, actions that we may take to reduce stock-based compensation expense that may be more severe than any actions our competitors may implement and may make it difficult to attract retain and motivate employees, which could adversely affect our competitive position as well as our business and operating results.
 
We may be required to record a charge to earnings if our goodwill or amortizable intangible assets become impaired, which could negatively impact our operating results.
 
Under U.S. GAAP, we review our amortizable intangible assets and goodwill for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying value may not be recoverable. Goodwill is tested for impairment at least annually. The carrying value of our goodwill or amortizable assets from acquisitions may not be recoverable due to factors such as a decline in stock price and market capitalization, reduced estimates of future cash flows and slower growth rates in our industry or in any of our business units. Estimates of future cash flows are based on an updated long-term financial outlook of our operations. However, actual performance in the near-term or long-term could be materially different from these forecasts, which could impact future estimates. For example, if one of our business units does not meet its near-term and longer-term forecasts, the goodwill assigned to the business unit could be impaired. We may be required to record a charge to earnings in our financial statements during a period in which an impairment of our goodwill or amortizable intangible assets is determined to exist, which may negatively impact our results of operations.
 

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Our failure to comply with any applicable environmental regulations could result in a range of consequences, including fines, suspension of production, excess inventory, sales limitations, and criminal and civil liabilities.
  
We are subject to various state, federal and international laws and regulations governing the environment, including restricting the presence of certain substances in electronic products and making producers of those products financially responsible for the collection, treatment, recycling and disposal of those products.  Although our management systems are designed to maintain compliance, we cannot assure you that we have been or will be at all times in complete compliance with such laws and regulations. If we violate or fail to comply with any of them, a range of consequences could result, including fines, import/export restrictions, sales limitations, criminal and civil liabilities or other sanctions. We could also be held liable for any and all consequences arising out of exposure to hazardous materials used, stored, released, disposed of by us or located at, under or emanating from our facilities or other environmental or natural resource damage.
 
Environmental laws are complex, change frequently and have tended to become more stringent over time. For example, the European Union and China are two among a growing number of jurisdictions that have enacted in recent years restrictions on the use of lead, among other chemicals, in electronic products. These regulations affect semiconductor packaging. There is a risk that the cost, quality and manufacturing yields of lead-free products may be less favorable compared to lead-based products or that the transition to lead-free products may produce sudden changes in demand, which may result in excess inventory.
 
There is also a movement to improve the transparency and accountability concerning the supply of minerals coming from the conflict zones of the Democratic Republic of Congo. New U.S. legislation includes disclosure requirements regarding the use of “conflict” minerals mined from the Democratic Republic of Congo and adjoining countries and procedures regarding a manufacturer's efforts to prevent the sourcing of such “conflict” minerals. The implementation of these requirements could affect the sourcing and availability of minerals used in the manufacture of semiconductor devices. As a result, there may only be a limited pool of suppliers who provide conflict free metals, and we cannot assure you that we will be able to obtain products in sufficient quantities or at competitive prices. Also, since our supply chain is complex, we may face reputational challenges with our customers and other stockholders if we are unable to sufficiently verify the origins for all metals used in our products.
 
Future environmental legal requirements may become more stringent or costly and our compliance costs and potential liabilities arising from past and future releases of, or exposure to, hazardous substances may harm our business and our reputation.
 
While we believe that we have adequate internal control over financial reporting, if we or our independent registered public accounting firm determines that we do not, our reputation may be adversely affected and our stock price may decline.
 
Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires our management to report on, and our independent registered public accounting firm to audit, the effectiveness of our internal control structure and procedures for financial reporting. We have an ongoing program to perform the system and process evaluation and testing necessary to comply with these requirements. However, the manner in which companies and their independent public accounting firms apply these requirements and test companies' internal controls remains subject to some judgment. To date, we have incurred, and we expect to continue to incur, increased expense and to devote additional management resources to Section 404 compliance. Despite our efforts, if we identify a material weakness in our internal controls, there can be no assurance that we will be able to remediate that material weakness in a timely manner, or that we will be able to maintain all of the controls necessary to determine that our internal control over financial reporting is effective. In the event that our chief executive officer, interim chief financial officer or our independent registered public accounting firm determine that our internal control over financial reporting is not effective as defined under Section 404, investor perceptions of us may be adversely affected and could cause a decline in the market price of our stock.
 
Changes in financial accounting standards or interpretations of existing standards could affect our reported results of operations.
 
We prepare our consolidated financial statements in conformity with U.S. GAAP.  These principles are constantly subject to review and interpretation by the SEC and various bodies formed to interpret and create appropriate accounting principles. A change in these principles can have a significant effect on our reported results and may even retroactively affect previously reported transactions.  Additionally, changes in existing accounting rules or practices, including the possible conversion to unified international accounting standards, could have a significant adverse effect on our results of operations or the manner in which we conduct our business.
 

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Provisions in our certificate of incorporation, our bylaws and our agreement with Microsoft could delay or prevent a change in control. 
 
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 to create and issue preferred stock without prior stockholder approval;
the prohibition of stockholder action by written consent;
a classified Board; and
advance notice requirements for director nominations and stockholder proposals.
 
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.

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
 
Not applicable.
 
ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

Our headquarters complex is located in Santa Clara, California. Our corporate campus is comprised of approximately 25 acres of land and ten commercial buildings and seven other leased buildings with five used primarily as office buildings, one used primarily as warehouse space and the other remaining used primarily as lab space. In addition, we also lease a data center space in Santa Clara.
 
Outside of Santa Clara, we lease space in Marina Del Rey, California; Austin and Richardson, Texas; Beaverton, Oregon; Bedford and Marion, Massachusetts; Bellevue and Bothell, Washington; Madison, Alabama; Durham, North Carolina; Greenville, South Carolina; Orlando, Florida; Salt Lake City, Utah; St. Louis, Missouri;  Fort Collins and Boulder, Colorado; and Charlottesville, Virginia. These facilities are used as design centers and/or sales and administrative offices.
 
Outside of the United States, we lease space in HsinChu City, Taiwan; Tokyo, Japan; Seoul and Seongnam, Korea; Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi'an, China;  Shatin, Hong Kong; Mumbai, India; Courbevoie and Sophia Antipolis, France; Moscow, Russia; Berlin and Munich, Germany; Helsinki, Finland; Bristol, Cambridge, Theale and London, United Kingdom; Ontario, Canada; Singapore; Uppsala, Sweden; and Zurich, Switzerland. These facilities are used primarily to support our customers and operations and as sales and administrative offices.  We also lease spaces in Wuerselen, Germany; Shenzhen, China; Taipei City, Taiwan; and Bangalore and Pune, India, which are used primarily as design centers.  Additionally, we own buildings in Hyderabad, India and Shanghai, China which are being used primarily as research and development centers.
 
We believe that we currently have sufficient facilities to conduct our operations for the next twelve months, although we expect to lease additional facilities throughout the world as our business requires. For additional information regarding obligations under leases, see  Note 14 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Form 10-K under the subheading “Lease Obligations,” which information is hereby incorporated by reference.

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
 
3dfx
 
On December 15, 2000, NVIDIA and one of our indirect subsidiaries entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement, or APA, to purchase certain graphics chip assets from 3dfx.  The transaction closed on April 18, 2001.  That acquisition, and 3dfx's October 2002 bankruptcy filing, led to four lawsuits against NVIDIA: two brought by 3dfx's former landlords, one by 3dfx's bankruptcy trustee and the fourth by a committee of 3dfx's equity security holders in the bankruptcy estate.  The two landlord cases have been settled with payments from the landlords to NVIDIA, and the equity security holders lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice and no appeal was filed.  Accordingly, only the bankruptcy trustee suit remains outstanding as more fully explained below.  
 
 

28


In March 2003, the Trustee appointed by the Bankruptcy Court to represent 3dfx's bankruptcy estate served a complaint on NVIDIA asserting claims for, among other things, successor liability and fraudulent transfer and seeking additional payments from us.  The Trustee's fraudulent transfer theory alleged that NVIDIA had failed to pay reasonably equivalent value for 3dfx's assets, and sought recovery of the difference between the $70 million paid and the alleged fair value, which the Trustee estimated to exceed $50 million.  The Trustee's successor liability theory alleged NVIDIA was effectively 3dfx's legal successor and therefore was responsible for all of 3dfx's unpaid liabilities.   
 
On October 13, 2005, the Bankruptcy Court heard the Trustee's motion for summary adjudication, and on December 23, 2005, denied that motion in all material respects and held that NVIDIA may not dispute that the value of the 3dfx transaction was less than $108 million. The Bankruptcy Court denied the Trustee's request to find that the value of the 3dfx assets conveyed to NVIDIA was at least $108 million. 
 
In early November 2005, after several months of mediation, NVIDIA and the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, or the Creditors' Committee, agreed to a Plan of Liquidation of 3dfx, which included a conditional settlement of the Trustee's claims against us. This conditional settlement was subject to a confirmation process through a vote of creditors and the review and approval of the Bankruptcy Court. The conditional settlement called for a payment by NVIDIA of approximately $30.6 million to the 3dfx estate. Under the settlement, $5.6 million related to various administrative expenses and Trustee fees, and $25.0 million related to the satisfaction of debts and liabilities owed to the general unsecured creditors of 3dfx. Accordingly, during the three month period ended October 30, 2005, we recorded $5.6 million as a charge to settlement costs and $25.0 million as additional purchase price for 3dfx.  The Trustee advised that he intended to object to the settlement. The conditional settlement never progressed substantially through the confirmation process.
 
On December 21, 2006, the Bankruptcy Court scheduled a trial for one portion of the Trustee's case against NVIDIA. On January 2, 2007, NVIDIA terminated the settlement agreement on grounds that the Bankruptcy Court had failed to proceed toward confirmation of the Creditors' Committee's plan. A non-jury trial began on March 21, 2007 on valuation issues in the Trustee's constructive fraudulent transfer claims against NVIDIA. Specifically, the Bankruptcy Court tried four questions: (1) what did 3dfx transfer to NVIDIA in the APA; (2) of what was transferred, what qualifies as “property” subject to the Bankruptcy Court's avoidance powers under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act and relevant bankruptcy code provisions; (3) what is the fair market value of the “property” identified in answer to question (2); and (4) was the $70 million that NVIDIA paid “reasonably equivalent” to the fair market value of that property. The parties completed post-trial briefing on May 25, 2007.
 
On April 30, 2008, the Bankruptcy Court issued its Memorandum Decision After Trial, in which it provided a detailed summary of the trial proceedings and the parties' contentions and evidence and concluded that “the creditors of 3dfx were not injured by the Transaction.”  This decision did not entirely dispose of the Trustee's action, however, as the Trustee's claims for successor liability and intentional fraudulent conveyance were still pending.  On June 19, 2008, NVIDIA filed a motion for summary judgment to convert the Memorandum Decision After Trial to a final judgment.  That motion was granted in its entirety and judgment was entered in NVIDIA's favor on September 11, 2008.  The Trustee filed a Notice of Appeal from that judgment on September 22, 2008, and on September 25, 2008, NVIDIA exercised its election to have the appeal heard by the United States District Court.    
 
The District Court's hearing on the Trustee's appeal was held on June 10, 2009. On December 20, 2010, the District Court issued an Order affirming the Bankruptcy Court's entry of summary judgment in NVIDIA's favor. On January 19, 2011, the Trustee filed a Notice of Appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Oral argument regarding the Appeal is currently scheduled for May 15, 2012.
 
While the conditional settlement reached in November 2005 never progressed through the confirmation process, the Trustee's case still remains pending on appeal.  Accordingly, we have not reversed the accrual of $30.6 million - $5.6 million as a charge to settlement costs and $25.0 million as additional purchase price for 3dfx - that we recorded during the three months ended October 30, 2005, pending resolution of the appeal of the Trustee's case. 
 
Rambus Inc.
 
On July 10, 2008, Rambus Inc. filed suit against NVIDIA, asserting patent infringement of 17 patents claimed to be owned by Rambus. Rambus seeks damages, enhanced damages and injunctive relief. The lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of California in San Jose, California. On July 11, 2008, NVIDIA filed suit against Rambus in the Middle District of North Carolina asserting numerous claims, including antitrust and other claims. NVIDIA seeks damages, enhanced damages and injunctive relief. Rambus has since dropped two patents from its lawsuit in the Northern District of California. The two cases have been consolidated into a single proceeding in the San Francisco division of the Northern District of California. On April 13, 2009, the Court issued an order staying motion practice and allowing only certain document discovery to proceed. On February 11, 2011, the Court lifted

29


the stay and ordered that discovery on other issues could proceed. The Court has since opened motion practice and discovery with respect to ten patents, referred to as the “Farmwald” and “Barth II” patents. Most of the “Farmwald” patents are also subject to patent reexamination requests. The Court has issued a scheduling order through the claim construction proceedings, currently scheduled for April 23 and 24, 2012. A case management conference is currently scheduled for May 18, 2012.
       
On November 6, 2008, Rambus filed a complaint alleging a violation of 19 U.S.C. Section 1337 based on a claim of patent infringement of nine Rambus patents against NVIDIA and 14 other respondents with the U.S. International Trade Commission, or ITC. Rambus has subsequently withdrawn four of the nine patents at issue. The complaint sought an exclusion order barring the importation of products that allegedly infringe the now five Rambus patents. The ITC instituted the investigation and a hearing was held October 13-20, 2009. The Administrative Law Judge issued an Initial Determination on January 22, 2010, which found the asserted claims of two patents in one patent family infringed but invalid, and the asserted claims of three patents in a separate patent family, valid, infringed and enforceable. This decision was reviewed by the ITC. The ITC issued a Final Decision on July 26, 2010. In its Final Decision, the ITC found that NVIDIA infringed three related patents and issued a limited exclusion order prohibiting import of certain NVIDIA products. NVIDIA is appealing certain aspects of the ruling that were unfavorable to NVIDIA. Rambus is also appealing certain aspects of the ruling that were unfavorable to Rambus. A hearing was held on October 6, 2011 and a decision regarding the appeal has not yet been issued.

On May 13, 2011, the Federal Circuit issued opinions in two related cases that address issues material to the disputes between Rambus and certain other parties in the ITC. Those opinions may positively affect NVIDIA's defenses in all of the cases brought against NVIDIA by Rambus. In those opinions, the Federal Circuit held Rambus destroyed documents when it had a legal duty to preserve them and that, if done in bad faith, Rambus is to bear the “heavy burden” to prove that NVIDIA suffered no prejudice in its ability to defend the cases brought against it by Rambus. In the ITC's Final Decision, despite finding Rambus acted in bad faith, the ITC incorrectly placed the burden on NVIDIA to prove actual prejudice. The Federal Circuit remanded both cases to the respective district courts for further proceedings consistent with its opinions. Those proceedings are currently underway.
 
NVIDIA also sought reexamination of the patents asserted in the ITC, as well as other patents, in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO. Proceedings are underway with respect to all challenged patents. With respect to the claims asserted in the ITC, the USPTO has issued a preliminary ruling invalidating many of the claims. The USPTO issued "Right to Appeal Notices" for the three patents found by the administrative law judge to be valid, enforceable and infringed. In the Right to Appeal Notices, the USPTO Examiner has cancelled all asserted claims of one of the patents and allowed the asserted claims on the other two patents. Rambus and NVIDIA both sought review of the USPTO Examiner's adverse findings. On appeal, the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences found the relevant claims of the three asserted “Barth I” patents subject to reexamination invalid.

Rambus has also been subject to an investigation in the European Union. NVIDIA was not a party to that investigation, but has sought to intervene in the appeal of the investigation. As a result of Rambus' commitments to resolve that investigation, for a period of five years from the date of the resolution, Rambus must now provide a license to memory controller manufacturers, sellers and/or companies that integrate memory controllers into other products. The license terms are set forth in a license made available on Rambus' website, or the Required Rambus License. On August 12, 2010, we entered into the Required Rambus License. Pursuant to the agreement, Rambus charges a royalty of (i) one percent of the net sales price per unit for certain memory controllers and (ii) two percent of the net sales price per unit for certain other memory controllers, provided that the maximum average net sales price per unit for these royalty bearing products shall be deemed not to exceed a maximum of $20. The agreement has a term until December 9, 2014. However, NVIDIA may terminate the agreement with thirty days prior written notice to Rambus. NVIDIA has already provided written notice to Rambus of its' intent to terminate effective immediately upon the removal of the ITC's limited exclusion order.
 
On December 1, 2010, Rambus filed a lawsuit against NVIDIA and several other companies alleging six claims for patent infringement. This lawsuit is pending in the Northern District of California and seeks damages, enhanced damages and injunctive relief. On the same day, Rambus filed a complaint with the ITC alleging that NVIDIA and several other companies violated 19 U.S.C. Section 1337 based on a claim of patent infringement of three Rambus patents. Rambus seeks exclusion of certain NVIDIA products from importation into the United States. The Northern District of California has stayed the case pending resolution of the ITC investigation. The asserted patents are related to each other, and the three patents in the ITC complaint are also at issue in the lawsuit pending in the Northern District of California. Many of the patents at issue in these lawsuits are also being challenged in Rambus' other disputes with NVIDIA. A hearing before an Administrative Law Judge of the ITC was held from October 12-20, 2011, and no ruling has been issued to date.
 
On February 7, 2012, NVIDIA and Rambus entered into a settlement agreement and a patent license agreement. The two agreements resolve all disputes between NVIDIA and Rambus. The parties are in the process of dismissing all lawsuits, appeals, and ITC actions to the maximum extent allowable by law.

30


 
Product Defect Litigation and Securities Cases
 
Product Defect Litigation
 
In September, October and November 2008, several putative consumer class action lawsuits were filed against us, asserting various claims arising from a weak die/packaging material set in certain versions of our previous generation products used in notebook configurations.  Most of the lawsuits were filed in Federal Court in the Northern District of California, but three were filed in state court in California, in Federal Court in New York, and in Federal Court in Texas.  Those three actions have since been removed or transferred to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, where all of the actions now are currently pending.  The various lawsuits are titled Nakash v. NVIDIA Corp., Feinstein v. NVIDIA Corp., Inicom Networks, Inc. v. NVIDIA Corp. and Dell, Inc. and Hewlett Packard, Olivos v. NVIDIA Corp., Dell, Inc. and Hewlett Packard, Sielicki v. NVIDIA Corp. and Dell, Inc., Cormier v. NVIDIA Corp., National Business Officers Association, Inc. v. NVIDIA Corp., and West v. NVIDIA Corp.  The First Amended Complaint was filed on October 27, 2008, which no longer asserted claims against Dell, Inc.  The various complaints assert claims for, among other things, breach of warranty, violations of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Business & Professions Code sections 17200 and 17500 and other consumer protection statutes under the laws of various jurisdictions, unjust enrichment, and strict liability. 
 
The District Court has entered orders deeming all of the above cases related under the relevant local rules.  On December 11, 2008, NVIDIA filed a motion to consolidate all of the aforementioned consumer class action cases.  On February 26, 2009, the District Court consolidated the cases, as well as two other cases pending against Hewlett Packard, under the caption “The NVIDIA GPU Litigation” and ordered the plaintiffs to file lead counsel motions by March 2, 2009.  On March 2, 2009, several of the parties filed motions for appointment of lead counsel and briefs addressing certain related issues.   On April 10, 2009, the District Court appointed Milberg LLP lead counsel.  On May 6, 2009, the plaintiffs filed an Amended Consolidated Complaint, alleging claims for violations of California Business and Professions Code Section 17200, Breach of Implied Warranty under California Civil Code Section 1792, Breach of the Implied Warranty of Merchantability under the laws of 27 other states, Breach of Warranty under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, Unjust Enrichment, violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, Strict Liability and Negligence, and violation of California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act.  
 
On August 19, 2009, we filed a motion to dismiss the Amended Consolidated Complaint, and the Court heard arguments on that motion on October 19, 2009.  On November 19, 2009, the Court issued an order dismissing with prejudice plaintiffs causes of action for Breach of the Implied Warranty under the laws of 27 other states and unjust enrichment, dismissing with leave to amend plaintiffs' causes of action for Breach of Implied Warranty under California Civil Code Section 1792 and Breach of Warranty under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and denying NVIDIA's motion to dismiss as to the other causes of action.  The Court gave plaintiffs until December 14, 2009 to file an amended complaint.  On December 14, 2009, plaintiffs filed a Second Amended Consolidated Complaint, asserting claims for violations of California Business and Professions Code Section 17200, Breach of Implied Warranty under California Civil Code Section 1792, Breach of Warranty under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, Strict Liability and Negligence, and violation of California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act.  The Second Amended Complaint seeks unspecified damages.  On January 19, 2010, we filed a motion to dismiss the Breach of Implied Warranty under California Civil Code Section 1792, Breach of Warranty under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, and California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act claims in the Second Amended Consolidated Complaint.   In addition, on April 1, 2010, Plaintiffs filed a motion to certify a class consisting of all people who purchased computers containing certain of our MCP and GPU products.  On May 3, 2010, we filed an opposition to Plaintiffs' motion for class certification.  A hearing on both motions was held on June 14, 2010.  On July 16, 2010, the parties filed a stipulation with the District Court advising that, following mediation they had reached a settlement in principle in The NVIDIA GPU Litigation.  The settlement in principle was subject to certain approvals, including final approval by the court.  As a result of the settlement in principle, and the other estimated settlement, and offsetting insurance reimbursements, NVIDIA recorded a net charge of $12.7 million to sales, general and administrative expense during the second quarter of fiscal year 2011.  In addition, a portion of the $181.2 million of additional charges we recorded against cost of revenue related to the weak die/packaging set during the second quarter of fiscal year 2011, relates to estimated additional repair and replacement costs related to the implementation of these settlements. On August 12, 2010, the parties executed a Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement and Release. On September 15, 2010, the Court issued an order granting preliminary approval of the settlement and providing for notice to the potential class members. The Final Approval Hearing was held on December 20, 2010, and on that same day the Court approved the settlement and entered Final Judgment over several objections. In January 2011, several objectors filed Notices of Appeal of the Final Judgment to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
 

31


On February 28, 2011, a group of purported class members filed a motion with the District Court purporting to seek enforcement of the settlement.  The Motion claimed that NVIDIA was not properly complying with its obligations under the settlement in connection with the remedies provided to purchasers of Hewlett-Packard computers included in the settlement.  On March 4, 2011, NVIDIA and Class Counsel at Milberg LLP filed oppositions to the Motion.  The Court held a hearing on March 28, 2011, and denied the Motion on May 2, 2011. 
 
On July 22, 2011, a putative class action titled Granfield v. NVIDIA Corp. was filed in federal court in Massachusetts asserting claims for breach of implied warranties arising out of the weak die/packaging material set, on behalf of a class of consumers alleged to not be covered by the settlement approved by the California court in The NVIDIA GPU Litigation.  On November 3, 2011 the action was transferred to the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division, based upon stipulation of the parties. On December 30, 2011, Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint asserting claims for violation of California Consumers Legal Remedies Act and Unfair Competition Law. On September 27, 2011, a second putative class action captioned Van der Maas v. NVIDIA Corp., et al., was filed in the Central District of California against NVIDIA, Asustek Computer Inc., and Asustek Computer International on behalf of certain consumers alleged not to be covered by the NVIDIA GPU settlement. This action asserts claims for violations of California's unfair competition laws, violation of California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act, negligence and strict liability, and violation of the Texas Business and Commerce Code Section 17.50. We intend to defend against the actions vigorously.
 
Securities Cases
 
In September 2008, three putative securities class actions, or the Actions, were filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California arising out of our announcements on July 2, 2008, that we would take a charge against cost of revenue to cover anticipated costs and expenses arising from a weak die/packaging material set in certain versions of our previous generation MCP and GPU products and that we were revising financial guidance for our second quarter of fiscal year 2009. The Actions purport to be brought on behalf of purchasers of NVIDIA stock and assert claims for violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act. October 30, 2008, the Actions were consolidated under the caption In re NVIDIA Corporation Securities Litigation, Civil Action No. 08-CV-04260-JW (HRL). Lead Plaintiffs and Lead Plaintiffs' Counsel were appointed on December 23, 2008. On February 6, 2009, co-Lead Plaintiff filed a Writ of Mandamus with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals challenging the designation of co-Lead Plaintiffs' Counsel. On February 19, 2009, co-Lead Plaintiff filed with the District Court, a motion to stay the District Court proceedings pending resolution of the Writ of Mandamus by the Ninth Circuit. On February 24, 2009, Judge Ware granted the stay. On November 5, 2009, the Court of Appeals issued an opinion reversing the District Court's appointment of one of the lead plaintiffs' counsel, and remanding the matter for further proceedings.   On December 8, 2009, the District Court appointed Milberg LLP and Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC as co-lead counsel.  
   
On January 22, 2010, Plaintiffs filed a Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint for Violations of the Federal Securities Laws, asserting claims for violations of Section 10(b), Rule 10b-5, and Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act.  The consolidated complaint sought unspecified compensatory damages.  We filed a motion to dismiss the consolidated complaint in March 2010 and a hearing was held on June 24, 2010 before Judge Seeborg. On October 19, 2010, Judge Seeborg granted our motion to dismiss with leave to amend. On December 2, 2010, co-Lead Plaintiffs filed a Second Consolidated Amended Complaint.  We moved to dismiss the Second Consolidated Amended Complaint on February 14, 2011. Following oral argument, on October 12, 2011, Judge Seeborg granted our motion to dismiss without leave to amend, and on November 8, 2011, Plaintiffs filed a Notice of Appeal to the Ninth Circuit.  
 
ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES

Not Applicable.

32


PART II

ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
 
Our common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol NVDA. Public trading of our common stock began on January 22, 1999. Prior to that, there was no public market for our common stock. As of March 9, 2012, we had approximately 421 registered stockholders, not including those shares held in street or nominee name. The following table sets forth for the periods indicated the high and low sales price for our common stock as quoted on the NASDAQ Global Select Market:
 
 
High
 
Low
Fiscal year ending January 27, 2013
 
 
 
First Quarter (through March 9, 2012)
$
16.90

 
$
14.43

Fiscal year ended January 29, 2012
 
 
 
Fourth Quarter
$
16.05

 
$
13.11

Third Quarter
$
16.10

 
$
11.47

Second Quarter
$
20.52

 
$
13.59

First Quarter
$
26.17

 
$
16.83

Fiscal year ended January 30, 2011
 
 
 
Fourth Quarter
$
25.05

 
$
11.94

Third Quarter
$
12.36

 
$
8.65

Second Quarter
$
15.88

 
$
8.92

First Quarter
$
18.34

 
$
15.32


Dividend Policy
 
We have never paid and do not expect to pay cash dividends for the foreseeable future.

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Our Board of Directors has authorized us, subject to certain specifications, to repurchase shares of our common stock up to an aggregate maximum amount of $2.7 billion through May 2013. The repurchases will be made from time to time in the open market, in privately negotiated transactions, or in structured stock repurchase programs, and may be made in one or more larger repurchases, in compliance with Rule 10b-18 of the Exchange Act, subject to market conditions, applicable legal requirements, and other factors. The program does not obligate NVIDIA to acquire any particular amount of common stock and the program may be suspended at any time at our discretion. As part of our share repurchase program, we have entered into, and we may continue to enter into, structured share repurchase transactions with financial institutions. These agreements generally require that we make an up-front payment in exchange for the right to receive a fixed number of shares of our common stock upon execution of the agreement, and a potential incremental number of shares of our common stock, within a pre-determined range, at the end of the term of the agreement.
  
We did not enter into any structured share repurchase transactions or otherwise purchase any shares of our common stock during the twelve months ended January 29, 2012. Through January 29, 2012, we have repurchased an aggregate of 90.9 million shares under our stock repurchase program for a total cost of $1.46 billion.  As of January 29, 2012, we are authorized, subject to certain specifications, to repurchase shares of our common stock up to $1.24 billion through May 2013. 

In addition to our Board authorized stock repurchases, we withhold common stock shares associated with net share settlements to cover tax withholding obligations upon the vesting of restricted stock unit awards under our equity incentive program.  During the twelve months ending January 29, 2012, we withheld approximately 1.1 million shares at a total cost of  $17.5 million through net share settlements.  Please refer to Note 3 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Form 10-K for further discussion regarding our equity incentive plans.

Additionally, during fiscal year 2012, we granted approximately 6.4 million stock options and 7.3 million restricted stock units, or RSUs, under the 2007 Equity Incentive Plan. Please refer to Note 2 and Note 3 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Form 10-K for further information regarding stock-based compensation related to our March 2009 stock option purchase and related to equity awards granted under our equity incentive programs, respectively.

33



Stock Performance Graphs
 
The following graph compares the cumulative total stockholder return for our common stock, the S & P 500 Index and the S & P 500 Semiconductors Index for the five years ended January 29, 2012. The graph assumes that $100 was invested on January 28, 2007 in our common stock or on January 28, 2007 in each of the S & P 500 Index and the S & P Semiconductors Index. Total return assumes reinvestment of dividends in each of the indices indicated. We have never paid cash dividends on our common stock. Our results are calculated on fiscal year-end basis and each of the S & P 500 Index and the S & P Semiconductors Index are calculated on month-end basis. Total return is based on historical results and is not intended to indicate future performance.

 
1/28/2007

 
1/27/2008

 
1/25/2009

 
1/31/2010

 
1/30/2011

 
1/29/2012

NVIDIA Corporation
$
100

 
$
118.92

 
$
36.75

 
$
73.36

 
$
113.25

 
$
71.07

S & P 500
$
100

 
$
97.69

 
$
59.95

 
$
79.82

 
$
97.53

 
$
101.64

S & P Semiconductors
$
100

 
$
93.19

 
$
55.86

 
$
87.69

 
$
114.44

 
$
121.68



34


The following graph compares the cumulative total stockholder return for our common stock, the S & P 500 Index and the S & P 500 Semiconductors Index for the period commencing with our initial public offering through the year ended January 29, 2012. The graph assumes that $100 was invested at our initial public offering on January 21, 1999 in our common stock or on December 31, 1998 in each of the S & P 500 Index and the S & P Semiconductors Index. Total return assumes reinvestment of dividends in each of the indices indicated. We have never paid cash dividends on our common stock. Our results are calculated on fiscal year-end basis and each of the S & P 500 Index and the S & P Semiconductors Index are calculated on month-end basis. Total return is based on historical results and is not intended to indicate future performance.      


                                              
 
1/21/99

 
1/30/00

 
1/28/01

 
1/27/02

 
1/26/03

 
1/25/04

 
1/30/05

 
1/29/06

 
1/28/07

 
1/27/08

 
1/25/09

 
1/31/10

 
1/30/11

 
1/29/12
NVIDIA Corporation
$
100

 
$
311.46

 
$
846.88

 
$
2,182.33

 
$
339

 
$
769.67

 
$
762.67

 
$
1,541.67

 
$
2,098

 
$
2,495

 
$
771

 
$
1,539

 
$
2,376

 
$1,491
S&P 500
$
100

 
$
114.96

 
$
113.93

 
$
95.53

 
$
73.54

 
$
98.97

 
$
105.13

 
$
116.05

 
$
132.89

 
$
129.82

 
$
79.67

 
$
106.07

 
$
129.61

 
$138.08
S&P Semi-conductors
$
100

 
$
180.33

 
$
145.17

 
$
112.96

 
$
50

 
$
99.52

 
$
74.79

 
$
86.48

 
$
81.43

 
$
75.88

 
$
45.49

 
$
71.41

 
$
93.19

 
$99.08


35


ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
 
The following selected financial data should be read in conjunction with our financial statements and the notes thereto, and with Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.” The consolidated statements of operations data for the years ended January 29, 2012, January 30, 2011 and January 31, 2010 and the consolidated balance sheet data as of January 29, 2012 and January 30, 2011 have been derived from and should be read in conjunction with our audited consolidated financial statements and the notes thereto included in Part IV, Item 15 in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.  We operate on a 52 or 53-week year, ending on the last Sunday in January.  Fiscal years 2012, 2011, 2009 and 2008 were 52-week years, while fiscal year 2010 was a 53-week year.

 
Year Ended
 
January 29,
2012
 
January 30,
2011 (A,B)
 
January 31,
2010 (A,C)
 
January 25,
2009 (A,D)
 
January 27,
2008
 
(In thousands, except per share data)
Consolidated Statement of Operations Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Revenue
$
3,997,930

 
$
3,543,309

 
$
3,326,445

 
$
3,424,859

 
$
4,097,860

Income (loss) from operations
$
648,299

 
$
255,747

 
$
(98,945
)
 
$
(70,700
)
 
$
836,346

Net income (loss)
$
581,090

 
$
253,146

 
$
(67,987
)
 
$
(30,041
)
 
$
797,645

Basic net income (loss) per share
$
0.96

 
$
0.44

 
$
(0.12
)
 
$
(0.05
)
 
$
1.45

Diluted net income (loss) per share
$
0.94

 
$
0.43

 
$
(0.12
)
 
$
(0.05
)
 
$
1.31

Shares used in basic per share computation
603,646

 
575,177

 
549,574

 
548,126

 
550,108

Shares used in diluted per share computation
616,371

 
588,684

 
549,574

 
548,126

 
606,732

 
 
Year Ended
 
January 29,
2012 (E)
 
January 30,
2011
 
January 31,
2010
 
January 25,
2009
 
January 27,
2008
 
(In thousands, except per share data)
Consolidated Balance Sheet Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities
$
3,129,576

 
$
2,490,563

 
$
1,728,227

 
$
1,255,390

 
$
1,809,478

Total assets
$
5,552,928

 
$
4,495,246

 
$
3,585,918

 
$
3,350,727

 
$
3,747,671

Capital lease obligations, less current portion
$
21,439

 
$
23,389

 
$
24,450

 
$
25,634

 
$

Total stockholders’ equity
$
4,145,724

 
$
3,181,462

 
$
2,665,140

 
$
2,394,652

 
$
2,617,912

Cash dividends declared per common share
$

 
$

 
$

 
$

 
$

 
(A)
We recorded a net warranty charge of $193.9 million, $94.0 million and $188.0 million, during fiscal years 2011, 2010 and 2009, respectively, which reduced income from operations to cover anticipated customer warranty, repair, return, replacement and other costs arising from a weak die/packaging material set used in certain versions of our previous generation MCP and GPU products shipped after July 2008 and used in notebook configurations.

(B)
On January 10, 2011, we entered into a new six-year cross licensing agreement with Intel and also mutually agreed to settle all outstanding legal disputes.  For accounting purposes, the fair valued benefit prescribed to the settlement portion was $57.0 million, which was recorded within income from operations in fiscal year 2011.

(C)
Fiscal year 2010 includes impact of charge for a tender offer to purchase an aggregate of 28.5 million outstanding stock options for a total cash payment of $78.1 million. As a result of the tender offer, we incurred a charge of $140.2 million, consisting of the remaining unamortized stock-based compensation expenses associated with the unvested portion of the options tendered in the offer, stock-based compensation expense resulting from amounts paid in excess of the fair value of the underlying options, plus associated payroll taxes and professional fees.

36



(D)
Fiscal year 2009 includes $18.9 million for a non-recurring charge resulting from the termination of a development contract related to a new campus construction project we have put on hold and $8.0 million for restructuring charges.
 
(E)
On June 10, 2011, we completed the acquisition of Icera, Inc. for total cash consideration of $352.2 million, and recorded goodwill of $271.2 million. 


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
 
The following discussion and analysis of our financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with “Item 1A. Risk Factors”, “Item 6. Selected Financial Data”, our Consolidated Financial Statements and related Notes thereto, as well as other cautionary statements and risks described elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, before deciding to purchase, hold or sell shares of our common stock.
 
Overview

Our Company

NVIDIA is known to millions around the world for creating the graphics chips that make their PC amazing when playing games or making home movies. With the invention of the GPU, we brought forth to the world the power of computer graphics. Today, we reach well beyond PC graphics. Our energy-efficient processors power a broad range of products, from smart phones to supercomputers. Our mobile processors are used in cell phones, tablets and auto infotainment systems. PC gamers rely on our GPUs to enjoy visually immersive worlds. Designers use them to create visual effects in movies and create everything from golf clubs to jumbo jets. And researchers utilize GPUs to push the frontiers of science with high-performance computing. NVIDIA has nearly 5,000 patents granted and pending worldwide, including many inventions essential to modern computing.
 
NVIDIA solutions are based on two important technologies: the GPU and the mobile processor. Both are highly complex chips, designed by NVIDIA engineers, and manufactured for us by a third party chip foundry. GPUs are the engines of visual computing, a field that includes computer graphics, image processing, to computer vision. Visual computing is the science and art of using computers to understand, create, and enhance images. One of the most complex processors ever created, the most advanced GPUs contain billions of transistors and require thousands of man years to create. We have three GPU product brands: GeForce, which creates amazing visual experiences for gamers; Quadro, the standard in visual computing for designers and digital artists; and Tesla, which accelerates applications for scientists and researchers.
 
Mobile processors incorporate CPU and GPU technologies to deliver an entire computer system on a single chip, or system-on-chip. Modern mobile processors are remarkable in their computing capabilities yet consume a hundred times less energy than a typical PC. Tegra is our mobile processor and is built for applications ranging from smartphones, tablets, and notebook PCs to TVs and cars. We believe energy-efficient mobile computing will revolutionize how computers are used in our lives. Tegra is a major new growth business for us.
We were incorporated in California in April 1993 and reincorporated in Delaware in April 1998. Our headquarter facilities are in Santa Clara, California.
 

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Reporting Segments
 
We have three primary financial reporting segments - GPU Business; Professional Solutions Business, or PSB; and Consumer Products Business, or CPB.  
Reporting Segments
 
Primary Revenue Sources
 
 
 
GPU
ž
GeForce discrete graphics and chipset products and notebook PCs
 
ž
Licensing fees from Intel Corporation
 
ž
Memory products
 
 
 
PSB
ž
Quadro professional workstation products
 
ž
Tesla high-performance computing products
 
 
 
CPB
ž
Tegra mobile products
 
ž
Icera baseband processors and RF transceivers for mobile connectivity
 
ž
Royalty license fees and other revenue related to video game consoles
 
ž
GPU and Tegra products in embedded products and automobiles

 Recent Developments, Future Objectives and Challenges

GPU Business
 
Our GeForce GPUs power PCs made by or distributed by most PC original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs in the world. We launched over 30 GPUs in fiscal year 2012.We expect the release of our new Kepler architecture to continue the growth in our GPU business. The power efficiency of our Kepler architecture provides a significant differentiator.
 
We ceased development of future chipset products based on the technology of the media and communications processor, or MCP, in the first quarter of fiscal 2011 and expect MCP chipset revenue in fiscal 2013 to be immaterial. Our MCP chipsets primarily comprised of our ION motherboard GPUs, a product reaching the end of its life cycle.
    
 Professional Solutions Business

In fiscal year 2012, we launched Project Maximus, which uses the compute power of Tesla with the visualization power of Quadro to merge the design and simulation stages into one workstation. Traditionally, the design and simulation stages of new product development have been separate, requiring the designer to hand over to a simulation expert and wait for the results before revising their design. Combining the processes greatly reduces the time for each iteration. “Simulation”, in this context, can mean verifying a plastic component is capable of manufacture by modeling the injection of molten plastic into a mold, determining a product is strong enough through a stress simulation, or generating a photorealistic image of a consumer product by simulating the path of light through and across it.

There are now 35 computers in the Top500 list of supercomputers based on Tesla GPUs, up from 10 last year, and Oak Ridge National Labs announced in 2011 that Titan, its next supercomputer, will be built with 18,000 Tesla GPUs and is planned to be the world's fastest computer when it goes live in 2012. At the GPU Technology Conference Asia in December 2011, we announced that CUDA, our parallel programming architecture, would be part of programming courses at 200 universities across China, potentially generating up to 20,000 additional Tesla programmers every year.

 Consumer Products Business
 
During fiscal year 2012, we launched Tegra 3, the world's first quad-core mobile computing chip, bringing PC levels of performance within the power envelope of a cellular phone chip. Tegra 3 includes several unique innovations, including its variable symmetric multiprocessing architecture with companion core which enables extremely low-power operation during the majority of use cases, and PRISM, which increases battery life during video playback by 40%. Another notable innovation is DirectTouch, which significantly improves the responsiveness of touch-screen user interfaces on devices and simultaneously reduces costs for the device manufacturer. Our software expertise makes both of these inventions completely transparent to the operating system; that is, neither the operating system nor the application developer has to know about them for users to benefit from them.

38


 
Tegra 3 is currently available to consumers in the Asus Transformer Prime, with additional products expected throughout calendar year 2012. Tegra 3 phones have been announced by HTC, LG, Fujitsu, ZTE and Tianyu. Tegra 3 tablets have been announced from ASUS, Acer, Fujitsu, Lenovo, Toshiba and ZTE and we continue to work with a number of other device makers on Tegra 3-powered devices.

In addition, ZTE, the world's fourth-largest cell phone manufacturer, has announced the first phone to use an Icera baseband processor. The ZTE Mimosa X uses Tegra 2 and the Icera i450 baseband processor to deliver superphone performance to the large and rapidly growing mainstream market in China.

During the second quarter of fiscal year 2012, we completed the acquisition of Icera, an innovator of baseband processors for 3G and 4G cellular phones and tablets.  Icera's technology uses a custom-built, low-power processor and a software-based baseband which assist manufacturers to develop multiple products from a common platform, reduce development costs and accelerate time to market. Icera's high-speed wireless modem products have been approved by more than 50 carriers across the globe.  In addition to leveraging on the existing Icera business, the objective of the acquisition is to accelerate and enhance the combination of our application processor with Icera's baseband processor for use in mobile devices such as smartphone and tablets.  Please refer to Note 7 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Form 10-K for additional information regarding this business combination.

Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates
 
Management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations are based upon our consolidated financial statements, which have been prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. The preparation of these financial statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenue, cost of revenue, expenses and related disclosure of contingencies. On an on-going basis, we evaluate our estimates, including those related to revenue recognition, cash equivalents and marketable securities, accounts receivable, inventories, income taxes, goodwill, stock-based compensation, warranty liabilities, litigation, investigation and settlement costs and other contingencies. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying values of assets and liabilities.
 
We believe the following critical accounting policies affect our significant judgments and estimates used in the preparation of our consolidated financial statements. Our management has discussed the development and selection of these critical accounting policies and estimates with the Audit Committee of our Board of Directors, or Board.  The Audit Committee has reviewed our disclosures relating to our critical accounting policies and estimates in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.  
  
Revenue Recognition
 
Product Revenue

We recognize revenue from product sales when persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, the product has been delivered, the price is fixed or determinable and collection is reasonably assured. For most sales, we use a binding purchase order and in certain cases we use a contractual agreement as evidence of an arrangement. We consider delivery to occur upon shipment provided title and risk of loss have passed to the customer based on the shipping terms. At the point of sale, we assess whether the arrangement fee is fixed or determinable and whether collection is reasonably assured. If we determine that collection of a fee is not reasonably assured, we defer the fee and recognize revenue at the time collection becomes reasonably assured, which is generally upon receipt of payment.
 
Our policy on sales to certain distributors, with rights of return, is to defer recognition of revenue and related cost of revenue until the distributors resell the product, as the level of returns cannot be reasonably estimated.

Our customer programs primarily involve rebates, which are designed to serve as sales incentives to resellers of our products in various target markets. We accrue for 100% of the potential rebates and do not apply a breakage factor. We recognize a liability for these rebates at the later of the date at which we record the related revenue or the date at which we offer the rebate. Rebates typically expire six months from the date of the original sale, unless we reasonably believe that the customer intends to claim the rebate. Unclaimed rebates are reversed to revenue.
 
Our customer programs also include marketing development funds, or MDFs. We account for MDFs as either a reduction of revenue or an operating expense, depending on the nature of the program.  MDFs represent monies paid to retailers, system builders, original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, distributors and add-in card partners that are earmarked for market segment

39


development and expansion and typically are designed to support our partners’ activities while also promoting NVIDIA products. Depending on market conditions, we may take actions to increase amounts offered under customer programs, possibly resulting in an incremental reduction of revenue at the time such programs are offered.

We also record a reduction to revenue by establishing a sales return allowance for estimated product returns at the time revenue is recognized, based primarily on historical return rates. However, if product returns for a particular fiscal period exceed historical return rates we may determine that additional sales return allowances are required to properly reflect our estimated exposure for product returns.

License and Development Revenue
 
For license arrangements that require significant customization of our intellectual property components, we generally recognize this license revenue over the period that services are performed. For most license and service arrangements, we determine progress to completion based on actual direct labor hours incurred to date as a percentage of the estimated total direct labor hours required to complete the project. We periodically evaluate the actual status of each project to ensure that the estimates to complete each contract remain accurate. A provision for estimated losses on contracts is made in the period in which the loss becomes probable and can be reasonably estimated. Costs incurred in advance of revenue recognized are recorded as deferred costs on uncompleted contracts. If the amount billed exceeds the amount of revenue recognized, the excess amount is recorded as deferred revenue. Revenue recognized in any period is dependent on our progress toward completion of projects in progress. Significant management judgment and discretion are used to estimate total direct labor hours. Any changes in or deviations from these estimates could have a material effect on the amount of revenue we recognize in any period.

For license arrangements that do not require significant customization but where we are obligated to provide further deliverables over the term of the license agreement, we record revenue over the of life of the license term, with consideration received in advance of the performance period classified as deferred revenue.

Royalty revenue is recognized related to the distribution or sale of products that use our technologies under license agreements with third parties.  We recognize royalty revenue upon receipt of a confirmation of earned royalties and when collectability is reasonably assured from the applicable licensee.
 
Accounts Receivable
 
We maintain an allowance for doubtful accounts receivable for estimated losses resulting from the inability of our customers to make required payments.  Management determines this allowance, which consists of an amount identified for specific customer issues as well as an amount based on overall estimated exposure. Our accounts receivable are highly concentrated and make us vulnerable to adverse changes in our customers businesses, and to downturns in the industry and the worldwide economy.   Our overall estimated exposure excludes significant amounts that are covered by credit insurance and letters of credit. If the financial condition of our customers, the financial institutions providing letters of credit, or our credit insurance carrier were to deteriorate, resulting in an impairment of their ability to make payments, additional allowances may be required that could adversely affect our operating results. This risk is heightened during periods when economic conditions worsen, such as the when the worldwide economy is experiencing a significant downturn. The financial turmoil that affected the banking system and financial markets and increased the risk that financial institutions mighty consolidate or go out of business resulted in a tightening in the credit markets, a lower than normal level of liquidity in many financial markets, and extreme volatility in fixed income, credit, currency and equity markets. There could be a number of follow-on effects from this type of credit crisis on our business, including inability of customers, including channel partners, to obtain credit to finance purchases of our products and/or customer, insolvencies and failure of financial institutions, which could negatively impact our financial results. Furthermore, there can be no assurance that we will be able to continue to obtain credit insurance in the future.

As of January 29, 2012, our allowance for doubtful accounts receivable was $0.9 million and our gross accounts receivable balance was $363.6 million. Of the $363.6 million, $84.8 million was covered by credit insurance and $12.4 million was covered by letters of credit. If the financial condition of our customers were to deteriorate, resulting in an impairment of their ability to make payments, additional allowances may be required and we may have to record additional reserves or write-offs on certain sales transactions in the future. Factors impacting the allowance include the level of gross receivables, the financial condition of our customers and the extent to which balances are covered by credit insurance or letters of credit. We have incurred cumulative bad debts of $0.2 million over the last three fiscal years.  As a result of our low bad debt experience, our allowance for doubtful accounts receivable has ranged between 0.2% and 0.3% during fiscal years 2012 and 2011. As of January 29, 2012, our allowance for doubtful accounts receivable represented 0.3% of our gross accounts receivable balance.
 

40


Inventories
   
Inventory cost is computed on an adjusted standard basis, which approximates actual cost on an average or first-in, first-out basis. Inventory costs consist primarily of the cost of semiconductors purchased from subcontractors, including wafer fabrication, assembly, testing and packaging, manufacturing support costs, including labor and overhead associated with such purchases, final test yield fallout, inventory provisions and shipping costs. We write down our inventory to the lower of cost or estimated market value. Obsolete or unmarketable inventory is completely written off based upon assumptions about future demand, future product purchase commitments, estimated manufacturing yield levels and market conditions. If actual market conditions are less favorable than those projected by management, or if our current inventory or future product purchase commitments to our suppliers exceed our forecasted future demand for such products, additional future inventory write-downs may be required that could adversely affect our operating results. Inventory reserves once established are not reversed until the related inventory has been sold or scrapped.  If actual market conditions are more favorable than expected and we sell products that we have previously written down, our reported gross margin would be favorably impacted.

As of January 29, 2012, our inventory reserve was $110.1 million. As a percentage of our gross inventory balance, our inventory reserve has ranged between 15.0% and 30.6% during fiscal years 2012 and 2011. As of January 29, 2012, our inventory reserve represented 24.4% of our gross inventory balance.
 
Warranty Liabilities

Cost of revenue includes the estimated cost of product warranties that are calculated at the point of revenue recognition. Under limited circumstances, we may offer an extended limited warranty to customers for certain products.  Our products are complex and may contain defects or experience failures due to any number of issues in design, fabrication, packaging, materials and/or use within a system. If any of our products or technologies contains a defect, compatibility issue or other error, we may have to invest additional research and development efforts to find and correct the issue.  Such efforts could divert our management’s and engineers’ attention from the development of new products and technologies and could increase our operating costs and reduce our gross margin. 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. Also, we may be required to reimburse customers, including our customers’ costs to repair or replace products in the field. A product recall or a significant number of product returns could be expensive, damage our reputation and could result in the shifting of business to our competitors. Costs associated with correcting defects, errors, bugs or other issues could be significant and could materially harm our financial results.
   
As of January 29, 2012, we recorded a total cumulative net charge of $475.9 million, of which $466.4 million has been charged against cost of revenue and the remainder has been charged to sales, general and administrative to cover customer warranty, repair, return, replacement and other costs arising from a weak die/packaging material set in certain versions of our previous generation MCP and GPU products used in notebook configurations.   Included in the charge are the costs of implementing a settlement with the plaintiffs of a putative consumer class action lawsuit related to this same matter and other related estimated consumer class action settlements. 

Determining the amount of the warranty charges related to this issue required management to make estimates and judgments based on historical experience, test data and various other assumptions including estimated field failure rates that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances. The results of these judgments formed the basis for our estimate of the total charge to cover anticipated customer warranty, repair, return and replacement and other associated costs. However, if actual repair, return, replacement and other associated costs and/or actual field failure rates exceed our estimates, we may be required to record additional reserves, which would increase our cost of revenue and materially harm our financial results.

Income Taxes

We recognize federal, state and foreign current tax liabilities or assets based on our estimate of taxes payable or refundable in the current fiscal year by tax jurisdiction. We recognize federal, state and foreign deferred tax assets or liabilities, as appropriate, for our estimate of future tax effects attributable to temporary differences and carryforwards; and we record a valuation allowance to reduce any deferred tax assets by the amount of any tax benefits that, based on available evidence and judgment, are not expected to be realized.
 
United States income tax has not been provided on earnings of our non-U.S. subsidiaries to the extent that such earnings are considered to be indefinitely reinvested.
 

41


Our calculation of current and deferred tax assets and liabilities is based on certain estimates and judgments and involves dealing with uncertainties in the application of complex tax laws. Our estimates of current and deferred tax assets and liabilities may change based, in part, on added certainty or finality to an anticipated outcome, changes in accounting standards or tax laws in the United States, or foreign jurisdictions where we operate, or changes in other facts or circumstances. In addition, we recognize liabilities for potential United States and foreign income tax contingencies based on our estimate of whether, and the extent to which, additional taxes may be due. If we determine that payment of these amounts is unnecessary or if the recorded tax liability is less than our current assessment, we may be required to recognize an income tax benefit or additional income tax expense in our financial statements, accordingly.
 
 As of January 29, 2012, we had a valuation allowance of $212.3 million related to state and certain foreign deferred tax assets that management determined are not likely to be realized due, in part, to projections of future taxable income and potential utilization limitations of tax attributes acquired as a result of stock ownership changes.  To the extent realization of the deferred tax assets becomes more-likely-than-not, we would recognize such deferred tax asset as an income tax benefit during the period.
         
Our deferred tax assets do not include the excess tax benefit related to stock-based compensation that are a component of our federal and state net operating loss and research tax credit carryforwards in the amount of $526.0 million as of January 29, 2012. Consistent with prior years, the excess tax benefit reflected in our net operating loss and research tax credit carryforwards will be accounted for as a credit to stockholders' equity, if and when realized.  In determining if and when excess tax benefits have been realized, we have elected to utilize the with-and-without approach with respect to such excess tax benefits. We have also elected to ignore the indirect tax effects of stock-based compensation deductions for financial and accounting reporting purposes, and specifically to recognize the full effect of the research tax credit in income from continuing operations.
 
We recognize the benefit from a tax position only if it is more-likely-than-not that the position would be sustained upon audit based solely on the technical merits of the tax position. Our policy is to include interest and penalties related to unrecognized tax benefits as a component of income tax expense. Please refer to Note 15 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Form 10-K for additional information. 

Goodwill
 
Goodwill is subject to our annual impairment test during the fourth quarter of our fiscal year, or earlier if indicators of potential impairment exist, using a fair value-based approach based on either a qualitative or a quantitative assessment.  Our impairment review process compares the fair value of the reporting unit in which the goodwill resides to its carrying value.  We determined that our reporting units are equivalent to our operating segments, or components of an operating segment, for the purposes of completing our goodwill impairment test.  Determining the number of reporting units and the fair value of a reporting unit requires us to make judgments and involves the use of significant estimates and assumptions. We also make judgments and assumptions in allocating assets and liabilities to each of our reporting units. We base our fair value estimates on assumptions we believe to be reasonable but that are unpredictable and inherently uncertain.  

Effective the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012, we early adopted an accounting standard update, commonly referred to the step zero approach, which allows us to first assess qualitative factors to determine whether it is necessary to perform the two-step quantitative goodwill impairment test. For reporting units in which the qualitative assessment concludes it is more likely than not that the fair value is more than its carrying value, the amended guidance eliminates the requirement to perform further goodwill impairment testing. For those reporting units where significant change or event occurs, and where potential impairment indicators exist, we continue to utilize a two-step quantitative assessment to testing goodwill for impairment. The first step tests for possible impairment by applying a fair value-based test. In computing fair value of our reporting units, we use estimates of future revenues, costs and cash flows from such units. The second step, if necessary, measures the amount of such impairment by applying fair value-based tests to individual assets and liabilities.

Qualitative Assessment

In considering the step zero approach to testing goodwill for impairment, we perform a qualitative analysis evaluating factors including, but not limited to, macro economic conditions, market and industry conditions, competitive environment, operational stability and the overall financial performance of the reporting units including cost factors and budgeted-to-actual revenue results.

During the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012, we utilized a qualitative analysis for several reporting units where no significant change occurred and no potential impairment indicators existed since the previous annual evaluation of goodwill and concluded it is more likely than not that the fair value is more than its carrying value on a reporting unit basis.

42


Our next annual evaluation of the goodwill by reporting unit will be performed during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2013. If we were to encounter challenging economic conditions, such as a decline in our operating results, an unfavorable industry or macroeconomic environment, a substantial decline in our stock price, or any other adverse change in market conditions, we may be required to perform the two-step quantitative goodwill impairment analysis. In addition, if such conditions have the effect of changing one of the critical assumptions or estimates we use to calculate the value of our goodwill, we may be required to record goodwill impairment charges in future periods, whether in connection with our next annual impairment assessment or prior to that, if any triggering event occurs outside of the quarter during which the annual goodwill impairment assessment is performed. It is not possible at this time to determine if any such future impairment charge would result or, if it does, whether such charge would be material to our results of operations.

Quantitative Assessment

We utilized a quantitative assessment to test goodwill impairment for one reporting unit during the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012 and concluded that there was no impairment as the fair value of our reporting unit exceeded its carrying value by approximately 30%.  This assessment was based upon a discounted cash flow analysis and an analysis of market comparables.

Our estimates of cash flow were based upon, among other things, certain assumptions about expected future operating performance, such as revenue growth rates, operating margins, risk-adjusted discount rates, and future economic and market conditions. Our estimates of discounted cash flow may differ from actual cash flow due to, among other things, economic conditions, changes to our business model or changes in operating performance. Additionally, certain estimates of discounted cash flow involve businesses with limited financial history and developing revenue models, which increases the risk of differences between the projected and actual performance. The long-term financial forecasts that we utilize represent the best estimate that we have at this time and we believe that its underlying assumptions are reasonable. Significant differences between our estimates and actual cash flow could materially affect our future financial results, which could impact our future estimates of the fair value of our reporting unit.  Determining the fair value of our reporting unit also requires us to use judgment in the selection of appropriate market comparables.
 
Any significant reductions in the actual amount of cash flows realized by our reporting unit, reductions in the value of market comparables, or reductions in our market capitalization could impact future estimates of the fair value of our reporting unit. Such events could ultimately result in a charge to our earnings in future periods due to the potential for a write-down of the goodwill associated with our reporting unit.

Cash Equivalents and Marketable Securities
          
Cash equivalents consist of financial instruments which are readily convertible into cash and have original maturities of three months or less at the time of acquisition.  Marketable securities consist primarily of highly liquid investments with maturities of greater than three months when purchased.  We generally classify our marketable securities at the date of acquisition as available- for- sale.  These securities are reported at fair value with the related unrealized gains and losses included in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss), a component of stockholder’s equity, net of tax.  Any unrealized losses which are considered to be other-than-temporary impairments are recorded in the other income (expense) section of our consolidated statements of operations.  Realized gains (losses) on the sale of marketable securities are determined using the specific-identification method and recorded in the other income (expense) section of our consolidated statements of operations. Please refer to Note 10 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Form 10-K.  We measure our cash equivalents and marketable securities at fair value. The fair values of our financial assets and liabilities are determined using quoted market prices of identical assets or quoted market prices of similar assets from active markets.  Our Level 1 assets consist of our money market funds. We classify securities within Level 1 assets when the fair value is obtained from real time quotes for transactions in active exchange markets involving identical assets.  Our available-for- sale securities are classified as having Level 2 inputs.  Our Level 2 assets are valued utilizing a market approach where the market prices of similar assets are provided by a variety of independent industry standard data providers to our investment custodian.  Most of our cash equivalents and marketable securities are valued based on Level 2 inputs.  We do not have any investment classified as Level 3 as of January 29, 2012.

All of our available-for-sale investments are subject to a periodic impairment review. We record a charge to earnings when a decline in fair value is significantly below cost basis and judged to be other-than-temporary, or have other indicators of impairments.  If the fair value of an available-for-sale debt instrument is less than its amortized cost basis, an other-than - temporary impairment is triggered in circumstances where (1) we intend to sell the instrument, (2) it is more likely than not that we will be required to sell the instrument before recovery of its amortized cost basis, or (3) a credit loss exists where we do not expect to recover the entire amortized cost basis of the instrument. If we intend to sell or it is more likely than not that we will be required to sell the available-for-sale debt instrument before recovery of its amortized cost basis, we recognize an other-than- temporary impairment in earnings equal to the entire difference between the debt instruments’ amortized cost basis and its fair value.  For

43


available-for-sale debt instruments that are considered other-than-temporarily impaired due to the existence of a credit loss, if we do not intend to sell and it is more likely than not that we will be required to sell the instrument before recovery of its remaining amortized cost basis (amortized cost basis less any current-period credit loss), we separate the amount of the impairment into the amount that is credit related and the amount due to all other factors.  The credit loss component is recognized in earnings.
 
Stock-based Compensation
 
Our stock-based compensation cost for equity awards is measured at grant date, based on the fair value of the awards, and is recognized as expense over the requisite employee service period.  We recognize stock-based compensation expense using the straight-line attribution method.  We estimate the fair value of employee stock options on the date of grant using a binomial model and we use the closing trading price of our common stock on the date of grant as the fair value of awards of restricted stock units, or RSUs.  The determination of fair value of share-based payment awards on the date of grant using an option-pricing model is affected by our stock price as well as assumptions regarding a number of highly complex and subjective variables. These variables include, but are not limited to, the expected stock price volatility over the term of the awards, actual and projected employee stock option exercise behaviors, vesting schedules, death and disability probabilities, expected volatility and risk-free interest. Our management has determined that the use of implied volatility is expected to be more reflective of market conditions and, therefore, can reasonably be expected to be a better indicator of our expected volatility than historical volatility. The risk-free interest rate assumption is based upon observed interest rates appropriate for the term of our employee stock options. The dividend yield assumption is based on the history and expectation of dividend payouts. We began segregating options into groups for employees with relatively homogeneous exercise behavior in order to calculate the best estimate of fair value using the binomial valuation model.

Using the binomial model, we estimated the fair value of the stock options granted under our stock option plans using the following assumptions during the fiscal year ended January 29, 2012:
 
Weighted average expected life of stock options (in years)
3.0-5.4

Risk free interest rate
1.9%-3.8%

Volatility
46%-65%

Dividend yield

 
Accounting standards also require forfeitures to be estimated at the time of grant and revised, if necessary, in subsequent periods if actual forfeitures differ from those estimates. Forfeitures were estimated based on our historical experience. If factors change and we employ different assumptions in the application of accounting standards in future periods, the compensation expense that we record under these accounting standards may differ significantly from what we have recorded in the current period.
 
Our stock-based compensation expense for employee stock purchase plan is recognized using an accelerated amortization method.  We used the Black-Scholes model to estimate the fair value of shares issued under our employee stock purchase plan during the fiscal year ended January 29, 2012, using the following assumptions:
 
Weighted average expected life of stock options (in years)
0.5-2.0

Risk free interest rate
0.1%-0.7%

Volatility
57%-61%

Dividend yield

 
 Litigation, Investigation and Settlement Costs
 
From time to time, we are involved in legal actions and/or investigations by regulatory bodies. We are aggressively defending our current litigation matters for which we are responsible. However, there are many uncertainties associated with any litigation or investigations, and we cannot be certain that these actions or other third-party claims against us will be resolved without costly litigation, fines and/or substantial settlement payments. If that occurs, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be materially and adversely affected. If information becomes available that causes us to determine that a loss in any of our pending litigation, investigations or settlements is probable, and we can reasonably estimate the loss associated with such events, we will record the loss in accordance with U.S.GAAP. However, the actual liability in any such litigation or investigations may be materially different from our estimates, which could require us to record additional costs.



44


Results of Operations
 
The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, certain items in our consolidated statements of operations expressed as a percentage of revenue. 

  
Year Ended
 
January 29, 2012
 
January 30, 2011
 
January 31, 2010
Revenue
100.0
%
 
100.0
 %
 
100.0
 %
Cost of revenue
48.6

 
60.2

 
64.6

Gross profit
51.4

 
39.8

 
35.4

Operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
Research and development
25.1

 
24.0

 
27.3

Sales, general and administrative
10.1

 
10.2

 
11.0

Restructuring charges and other

 

 

Legal settlement

 
(1.6
)
 

Total operating expenses
35.2

 
32.6

 
38.3

Income (loss) from operations
16.2

 
7.2

 
(2.9
)
Interest and other income, net
0.4

 
0.4

 
0.5

Income (loss) before income taxes
16.6

 
7.6

 
(2.4
)
Income tax expense (benefit)
2.1

 
0.5

 
(0.4
)
Net income (loss)
14.5
%
 
7.1
 %
 
(2.0
)%

Fiscal Years Ended January 29, 2012, January 30, 2011,and January 31, 2010
 
Revenue

Fiscal Year 2012 vs. Fiscal Year 2011
 
Revenue was $4.00 billion for fiscal year 2012 and $3.54 billion for fiscal year 2011, an increase of 12.8%.  A discussion of our revenue results for each of our reporting segments is as follows:

GPU Business. GPU Business revenue was $2.54 billion for fiscal year 2012 compared to $2.52 billion for fiscal year 2011. The increase is primarily attributable to revenue from the cross licensing agreement with Intel and increased desktop and notebook product revenue. The increase in desktop and notebook revenues came from continued market penetration of our Fermi architecture based GPUs. Strength of our Fermi architecture and resultant wins on the Sandy Bridge platform contributed to increase in notebook revenues. Offsetting these increases were decreases in sales of MCP products as we continued to phase out our chipset product line.  Additionally, memory sales also decreased due to lower sales volume as decreases in market price for memory made it attractive for add-in card manufacturers to buy memory directly from market rather than from us.

PSB. PSB revenue increased by 5.6% to $864.3 million for fiscal year 2012 as compared to $818.6 million for fiscal year 2011.  The average selling price, or ASP, for workstation products improved due to the recovery of corporate spending following the economic recession that began during fiscal year 2009.   Offsetting this was a decrease in our Tesla product revenues from the prior year primarily due to lower sales volume. 

CPB.  CPB revenue increased by 199.2% to $591.2 million for fiscal year 2012 as compared to $197.6 million for fiscal year 2011.  This increase in CPB revenue was primarily driven by sales growth from the acceleration of our Tegra 2 smartphone and tablet products in the mobile market and in embedded product revenues primarily related to the entertainment markets.   Revenue from development arrangements and royalties from game console-related products remained stable in fiscal year 2012 when compared to fiscal year 2011.

Fiscal Year 2011 vs. Fiscal Year 2010
 
Revenue was $3.54 billion for fiscal year 2011 and $3.33 billion for fiscal year 2010, an increase of 7%. A discussion of our revenue results for each of our operating segments is as follows:

45



GPU Business. GPU Business revenue decreased by 5% to $2.52 billion for fiscal year 2011 compared to $2.66 billion for fiscal year 2010.  The decrease was primarily the result of a decline in sales of MCP products as we continued to phase out our chipset product line.   Also sales of mainstream desktop GPU decreased as a result of lower unit shipments driven by weakness in our end customer markets related to unstable economic conditions and increased competition in the lower-end market segments. Offsetting these declines were increases in sales of our notebook GPU, high-end desktop GPU and memory products.  The growth in sales of notebook GPU products was driven by a continuing shift in the market demand towards notebook PCs from desktop PCs as reported in the December 2010 PC Graphics Report from Mercury Research.  The growth in memory sales and high-end desktop GPU products was driven primarily by the launch of our new generation of GPUs with Fermi architecture.

PSB. PSB revenue increased by 60% to $818.6 million for fiscal year 2011 as compared to $510.0 million for fiscal year 2010.  Both the ASP and unit shipments of professional workstation products increased due to the recovery of corporate spending following the economic recession that began during fiscal year 2009.   In addition, we saw strong growth in our Tesla products from the prior year as our high performance computing line gained traction fueled by the Fermi architecture release.  

CPB.  CPB revenue increased by 27% to $197.6 million for fiscal year 2011 as compared to $156.0 million for fiscal year 2010.  This increase in CPB revenue was primarily driven by sales growth from ramp up in our Tegra 2 products, offset by decreases in embedded product revenues primarily related to the entertainment markets.  Revenue from development arrangements and royalties from game console-related products increased slightly in fiscal year 2011 when compared to fiscal year 2010.

Concentration of Revenue
 
We generated 78%, 83% and 84% of our total revenue for fiscal years 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively, from sales to customers outside the United States and other Americas. Revenue by geographic region is allocated to individual countries based on the location to which the products are initially billed even if the foreign contract equipment manufacturers, add-in board and motherboard manufacturers’ revenue is attributable to end customers in a different location.

Revenue from significant customers, those representing 10% or more of total revenue for the respective dates, is summarized as follows: 

 
Year Ended
 
January 29,
2012
 
January 30,
2011
 
January 31,
2010
Revenue:
 
 
 
 
 
Customer A
11
%
 

 

Customer B

 
12
%
 
12
%
 
Gross Profit and Gross Margin
 
Gross profit consists of total revenue, net of allowances, less cost of revenue. Cost of revenue consists primarily of the cost of semiconductors purchased from subcontractors, including wafer fabrication, assembly, testing and packaging, manufacturing support costs, including labor and overhead associated with such purchases, final test yield fallout, inventory and warranty provisions and shipping costs. Cost of revenue also includes development costs for license, service arrangements and stock-based compensation related to personnel associated with manufacturing.
 
Gross margin is the percentage of gross profit to revenue.  Our gross margin was 51.4%, 39.8% and 35.4% for fiscal years 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively.  Our gross margin is significantly impacted by the mix of products we sell and can vary in any period depending on that product mix.

Our strategy for improving our gross margin relies upon delivering competitive product offerings that allow us to maintain our market leadership position and expand our addressable markets, lowering our product costs by introducing product architectures that take advantage of smaller process geometries and improving our product mix.  However, we may experience difficulties in the transition to new manufacturing processes. We expect gross margin to decrease within the range of 48.2% to 50.2% during the first quarter of fiscal year 2013, primarily driven by our transition to 28nm technology and transition to a wafer buy model where the costs of our products are based on the price per wafer versus price per functional die.

A discussion of our gross margin results for each of our reporting segments is as follows:

46



Fiscal Year 2012 vs. Fiscal Year 2011

Our gross margin increased to 51.4% in fiscal year 2012 from 39.8% in fiscal year 2011.  The improvement in gross margin was driven primarily due to increased unit sales and a richer product mix of our desktop GPU and notebook GeForce GPU products and workstation products and the addition of revenue in the current year from the cross licensing arrangement with Intel.  Manufacturing cost efficiencies and strong management of inventory also helped margin improve in the current fiscal year. Other favorable impacts to gross margin were the absence in fiscal year 2012 of a net charge to cost of revenue in the amount of $181.2 million recorded in fiscal year 2011 related to a weak die/packing material set and lower provisions for net inventory reserves in fiscal year 2012 compared to fiscal year 2011.

Our gross margin was favorably impacted by sales of products that were previously written down and sales of such items improved gross margin by approximately 1.8% and 1.9% in fiscal years 2012 and 2011, respectively.   Offsetting these releases are provisions for new inventory reserves.  The net effect to gross margin from inventory reserves and sales of items previously written down was a 0.5% favorable impact in fiscal year 2012 and 3.0% unfavorable impact in fiscal year 2011.

 GPU Business. The gross margin of our GPU Business increased during fiscal year 2012 when compared to fiscal year 2011.  This was primarily due to lower provisions for net inventory reserves in fiscal year 2012 compared to fiscal year 2011 and additional warranty accruals arising from a weak die/packaging material set recorded in fiscal year 2011. Revenue from our cross licensing arrangement with Intel also contributed to gross margin increase. In addition, higher unit sales and richer product mix of our desktop and notebook GeForce GPU products also improved gross margin for the GPU business.

PSB. The gross margin of our PSB remained stable during fiscal year 2012 as compared to fiscal year 2011 for both Quadro and Tesla products.  

CPB.  The gross margin of our CPB decreased during fiscal year 2012 as compared to fiscal year 2011. This decrease was a result of a change in product mix driven by a lower mix of revenue from higher margin products and services such as development arrangements and royalties from game console-related products and a higher mix of revenue from our Tegra products, which grew substantially during the year.
 
Fiscal Year 2011 vs. Fiscal Year 2010

Our gross margin increased to 39.8% in fiscal year 2011 from 35.4% for fiscal year 2010.  The improvement in gross margin was driven primarily due to increased unit sales, mix and better ASPs of our high-end desktop GPU, notebook GPU and workstation products.  Cost efficiencies and pricing decisions also helped margin improve in the current fiscal year.  Additionally, fiscal year 2010 included $11.4 million charge related to the our tender offer to purchase certain stock options for personnel related to manufacturing which resulted in an adverse impact on gross margins that did not occur in fiscal year 2011.

Offsetting these favorable impacts, we recorded a net charge to cost of revenue in the amount of $181.2 million in fiscal year 2011 compared to $95.9 million in fiscal year 2010 related to a weak die/packing material set that was used in certain versions of our previous generation chips.   Our gross margin was favorably impacted by sales of products that were previously written down and sales of such items improved gross margin by approximately 1.9% and 1.6% in fiscal years 2011 and 2010, respectively.   Offsetting these releases are provisions for new inventory reserves.  The net effect to gross margin from inventory reserves and sales of items previously written down was a 3.0% unfavorable impact in fiscal year 2011 and a 0.2% favorable impact in fiscal year 2010.
 
GPU Business. The gross margin of our GPU Business remained comparable during fiscal year 2011 and fiscal year 2010.  While higher inventory reserves due to future demand concerns in the first half of fiscal year 2011 and additional warranty accruals arising from a weak die/packaging material set reduced gross margin for fiscal year 2011 when compared to fiscal year 2010, this was more than offset by higher unit sales, mix and ASPs in the high-end desktop and notebook product lines.

PSB. The gross margin of our PSB remained flat during fiscal year 2011 as compared to fiscal year 2010.  Improvements in gross margin as a result of better ASPs and shipment volumes in our Quadro product line were offset by higher inventory reserves recorded in fiscal year 2011, when compared to fiscal year 2010.  Tesla gross margin improved due to better production efficiencies was driven by lower product cost and higher unit sales, while ASPs remained stable.

CPB.  The gross margin of our CPB increased during fiscal year 2011 as compared to fiscal year 2010. This increase was a result of better ASPs and higher unit shipment of our Tegra products as well as slightly better revenue from higher margin products and services, including development arrangements and royalties from game console-related products, in the comparative periods.

47


Operating Expenses 
 
Year Ended
 
Year Ended
 
January 29,
2012
 
January 30,
2011
 
$
Change
 
%
Change
 
January  30,
2011
 
January 31,
2010
 
$
Change
 
%
Change
 
(In millions)
 
(In millions)
Research and development expenses
$
1,002.6

 
$
848.8

 
$
153.8

 
18.1
%
 
$
848.8

 
$
908.9

 
$
(60.1
)
 
(6.6
)%
Sales, general and administrative expenses
405.6

 
361.5

 
44.1

 
12.2
%
 
361.5

 
367.0

 
(5.5
)
 
(1.5
)%
Legal settlement  

 
(57.0
)
 
57.0

 
100.0
%
 
(57.0
)
 

 
(57.0
)
 
(100.0
)%
Total operating expenses
$
1,408.2

 
$
1,153.3

 
$
254.9

 
22.1
%
 
$
1,153.3

 
$
1,275.9

 
$
(122.6
)
 
(9.6
)%
Research and development as a percentage of net revenue
25.1
%
 
24.0
%
 
 
 
 
 
24.0
%
 
27.3
%
 
 
 
 
Sales, general and administrative as a percentage of net revenue
10.1
%
 
10.2
%
 
 
 
 
 
10.2
%
 
11.0
%
 
 
 
 
 
Research and Development

Fiscal Year 2012 vs. Fiscal Year 2011

Research and development expenses increased by $153.8 million, or 18.1%, year over year. Compensation and benefits increased by $83.7 million primarily related to growth in headcount. Stock based compensation increased by $22.5 million primarily due to a combination of a higher outlay of equity awards as a result of the increase in headcount, a higher average fair value for the awards that were granted during the year and higher expense from the employee stock purchase program. Development expenses increased by $9.0 million related to the ramp of our next-generation GPU architecture, Kepler, designed for 28nm technology and our next generation mobile computing architecture, Tegra 3. Depreciation and amortization increased by $8.8 million, driven primarily by amortization of new licenses acquired during the year. Also contributing to the increase were other acquisition-related costs of $12.4 million for compensation charges related to the retention program we have established for employees from our acquisition of Icera in June 2011 and $6.0 million of amortization expense for intangible assets associated with this acquisition.

Fiscal Year 2011 vs. Fiscal Year 2010

Research and development expenses decreased by $60.1 million, or 6.6%.  The majority of the decrease was caused by stock-based compensation charges recorded during fiscal year 2010 of $90.5 million related to a tender offer that closed in March 2009. Depreciation and amortization decreased by $8.9 million due to assets being fully depreciated. These decreases were partially offset by an increase in compensation and benefits of $23.5 million primarily due to growth in headcount and an increase of $7.6 million for development expenses.

Sales, General and Administrative

Fiscal Year 2012 vs. Fiscal Year 2011

Sales, general and administrative expenses increased by $44.1 million, or 12.2%, year over year. Compensation and benefits increased by $29.5 million primarily attributable to headcount growth. Stock-based compensation increased by $10.5 million primarily due to a combination of a higher outlay of equity awards as a result of the increase in headcount, a higher average fair value for the awards that were granted during the year and higher expense from the employee stock purchase program. Also contributing to the increase were $4.4 million for transaction costs related to the acquisition of Icera, Inc., $3.5 million for compensation charges related to the retention program we have established for employees from the Icera acquisition and $2.2 million of amortization expense for intangible assets associated with this acquisition. Offsetting these increases were decreases in outside professional fees of $4.0 million due to lower litigation-related costs in the current year and a decrease in depreciation and amortization of $9.2 million due to certain software and lease hold improvements of headquarters buildings that became fully depreciated during the year.

48



Fiscal Year 2011 vs. Fiscal Year 2010

Sales, general and administrative expenses decreased by $5.5 million, or 1.5%. The majority of the decrease was caused by stock-based compensation charges recorded during fiscal year 2010 of $38.3 million related to a tender offer that closed in March 2009. Professional fees decreased by $10.6 million due to decreased legal service charges. Depreciation and amortization decreased by $4.2 million due to assets being fully depreciated. Offsetting these decreases was an increase in compensation and benefits of $28.1 million primarily attributable to growth in headcount. We had increases across discretionary spending areas such as $5.7 million for marketing, $3.2 million for contract labor, and $2.9 million for travel and entertainment to meet the increasing opportunities of our business as the economy recovers.  Our expenses also increased by $15.0 million related to the settlement of the NVIDIA GPU Litigation case described in  Note 14 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Form 10-K.

Legal Settlement
         
On January 10, 2011, we entered into a six-year cross licensing agreement with Intel and also mutually agreed to settle all outstanding legal disputes.  The fair valued benefit prescribed to the legal settlement portion was $57.0 million and was recorded in the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011.

We expect operating expenses to be approximately $383 million in the first quarter of fiscal year 2013.

Interest Income and Interest Expense
 
Interest income, net of interest expense consists of interest earned on cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. Interest income, net of interest expense, increased to $16.1 million in fiscal year 2012 from $15.9 million in fiscal year 2011 primarily due to the result of higher average cash balances offset by lower interest rates. Interest income, net of interest expense, decreased to $15.9 million in fiscal year 2011 from $19.8 million in fiscal year 2010 primarily due to the result of lower interest rates on our investments.

Other Income (Expense), net

Other income and expense primarily consists of realized gains and losses on the sale of marketable securities and foreign currency translation.  Other expense, net of other income was $1.0 million, $0.5 million, and $3.1 million in fiscal years 2012, 2011, and 2010, respectively. The fluctuation between these years was primarily due to other than temporary impairment of our investment in the money market funds held by the Reserve International Liquidity Fund, Ltd. that resulted in a charge of $5.6 million in fiscal year 2009, which was partially recovered in fiscal year 2011 for a gain of $3.0 million resulting from the final disbursement of this fund.  
  
Income Taxes
 
We recognized income tax expense (benefit) of $82.3 million, $18.0 million, and $(14.3) million during fiscal years 2012, 2011, and 2010, respectively. Income tax expense (benefit) as a percentage of income (loss) before taxes, or our annual effective tax rate, was 12.4% in fiscal year 2012, 6.7% in fiscal year 2011, and 17.4% in fiscal year 2010.

Our effective tax rate on income or loss before tax for the fiscal years was lower than the United States federal statutory rate of 35% due to income or loss earned in jurisdictions where the tax rate is lower than the United States federal statutory tax rate of 35%, favorable recognition in these fiscal years of the U.S. federal research tax credit and the expiration of statutes of limitations in certain non-U.S. jurisdictions for which we had not previously recognized related tax benefits.

We expect our effective tax rate to be approximately 20% in the first quarter of fiscal 2013, excluding any discrete tax events that may occur, which, if realized, may increase or decrease our effective tax rate in such quarter.

Please refer to Note 15 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Form 10-K for additional information. 




49


Liquidity and Capital Resources
 
 
January 29, 2012
 
January 30, 2011
 
(In millions)
Cash and cash equivalents
$
667.9

 
$
665.4

Marketable securities
2,461.7

 
1,825.2

Cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities
$
3,129.6

 
$
2,490.6


 
Year Ended
 
January 29,
2012
 
January 30,
2011
 
January 31,
2010
 
(In millions)
Net cash provided by operating activities
$
909.2

 
$
675.8

 
$
487.8

Net cash used in investing activities
$
(1,143.4
)
 
$
(649.7
)
 
$
(519.3
)
Net cash provided by financing activities
$
236.7

 
$
192.0

 
$
61.1


As of January 29, 2012, we had $3.13 billion in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities, an increase of $639.0 million from the end of fiscal year 2011. Our portfolio of cash equivalents and marketable securities is managed on our behalf by several financial institutions which are required to follow our investment policy, which requires the purchase of top-tier investment grade securities, the diversification of asset types and includes certain limits on our portfolio duration.

Operating activities
 
Operating activities generated cash of $909.2 million, $675.8 million and $487.8 million during fiscal years 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively.

The cash provided by operating activities increased in fiscal year 2012 when compared to fiscal year 2011 primarily due to an increase in our net income and favorable changes in operating assets and liabilities compared to fiscal year 2011.  For example, accounts payable increased as a result of the timing of payments to vendors and inventory decreased as a result of an increase in inventory turnover. Higher non-cash charges in earnings including stock-based compensation and depreciation and amortization also contributed to the increase in cash provided by operating activities. 

The cash provided by operating activities increased in fiscal year 2011 when compared to fiscal year 2010 primarily due to an increase in our net income and favorable changes in operating assets and liabilities compared to fiscal year 2010.  For example, accounts receivable decreased due to improved sales linearity and stronger collections during the year, while accrued and other liabilities increased primarily due to an additional net charge for incremental repair and replacement costs from a weak die/packaging material set. Higher non-cash charges in earnings including stock-based compensation and depreciation and amortization also contributed to the increase in cash provided by operating activities.  

The cash provided by operating activities in fiscal year 2010 increased when compared to fiscal year 2009 was primarily due to changes in operating assets and liabilities, including increases in accounts payable resulting from the timing of payments to vendors and a decrease in inventory resulting from an increase in inventory turnover. Additionally, while we experienced a net loss in fiscal year 2010 of $68.0 million, versus a net loss of $30.0 million in fiscal year 2009, higher non-cash charges to earnings included stock-based compensation and depreciation and amortization also contributed to the increase in cash provided from operations.

Investing activities

Investing activities have consisted primarily of purchases and sales of marketable securities, acquisition of businesses and purchases of property and equipment, which include leasehold improvements for our facilities and intangible assets. Investing activities used cash of $1,143.4 million, $649.7 million and $519.3 million during fiscal years 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively.  


50


Cash used in investing activities for fiscal year 2012 increased by $493.7 million from fiscal 2011 primarily due to the acquisition of Icera in the second quarter of fiscal year 2012 and increased purchases of marketable securities during fiscal year 2012. Additionally, we used $138.7 million towards capital expenditures in fiscal year 2012.  Capital expenditures included purchase of new research and development equipment, testing equipment to support our increased production requirements, technology licenses, software, intangible assets and leasehold improvements at our facilities in various locations.

Investing activities for fiscal year 2011 used cash of $649.7 million towards the purchase of marketable securities, net of proceeds from sales of marketable securities. Additionally, we used $97.9 million towards capital expenditures in fiscal year 2011. Capital expenditures included purchase of new research and development equipment, testing equipment to support our increased production requirements, technology licenses, software, intangible assets and leasehold improvements at our facilities in various international locations.

Investing activities for fiscal year 2010 used cash of $441.5 million towards the purchase of marketable securities, net of proceeds from sales of marketable securities. Additionally, we used $77.6 million towards capital expenditures in fiscal year 2010. Capital expenditures included purchase of new research and development equipment, testing equipment to support our increased production requirements, technology licenses, software, intangible assets and leasehold improvements at our facilities in various international locations.
   
Financing activities

Financing activities provided cash of $236.7 million, $192.0 million, and $61.1 million during fiscal years 2012, 2011, and 2010, respectively. 

Net cash provided by financing activities in fiscal year 2012 was primarily due to cash proceeds of $195.9 million from common stock issued under our employee stock plans, and a non-cash tax benefit of $52.8 million for the gross windfall related to employee stock based compensation.

Net cash provided by financing activities in fiscal year 2011 was primarily due to cash proceeds of $177.3 million from common stock issued under our employee stock plans, and a non-cash tax benefit of $15.3 million for the gross windfall related to employee stock based compensation.  

Net cash provided by financing activities in fiscal year 2010 was primarily due to cash proceeds of $138.0 million from common stock issued under our employee stock plans, offset by $78.1 million used for the purchase of outstanding stock options related to a tender offer that closed in March 2009. Please refer to Note 2 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Form 10-K for further discussion regarding the cash tender offer. 

Liquidity

Our primary source of liquidity is cash generated by our operations. Our investment portfolio consisted of cash and cash equivalents, commercial paper, mortgage-backed securities issued by government-sponsored enterprises, money market funds and debt securities of corporations, municipalities and the United States government and its agencies. These investments are denominated in United States dollars. As of January 29, 2012, we did not have any investments in auction-rate preferred securities.

All of the cash equivalents and marketable securities are treated as “available-for-sale”. Investments in both fixed rate and floating rate interest earning instruments carry a degree of interest rate risk. Fixed rate debt securities may have their market value adversely impacted due to a rise in interest rates, while floating rate securities may produce less income than expected if interest rates fall. Due in part to these factors, our future investment income may fall short of expectations due to changes in interest rates or if the decline in fair value of our publicly traded debt or equity investments is judged to be other-than-temporary. We may suffer losses in principal if we are forced to sell securities that decline in market value due to changes in interest rates. However, because any debt securities we hold are classified as “available-for-sale,” no gains or losses are realized in our statement of operations due to changes in interest rates unless such securities are sold prior to maturity or unless declines in market values are determined to be other-than-temporary.  These securities are reported at fair value with the related unrealized gains and losses included in accumulated other comprehensive income, a component of stockholders’ equity, net of tax.

As of January 29, 2012 and January 30, 2011, we had $3.13 billion and $2.49 billion, respectively, in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities.  Our investment policy requires the purchase of top-tier investment grade securities, the diversification of asset types and includes certain limits on our portfolio duration, as specified in our investment policy guidelines. These guidelines also limit the amount of credit exposure to any one issue, issuer or type of instrument. As of January 29, 2012, we were in compliance with our investment policy.  As of January 29, 2012, our investments in U.S. government agencies and U.S. government sponsored

51


enterprises represented approximately 51% of our total investment portfolio, while the financial sector accounted for approximately 24% of our total investment portfolio. All of our investments are with A/A2 or better rated securities.

We performed an impairment review of our investment portfolio as of January 29, 2012.  Based on our quarterly impairment review, we concluded that our investments were appropriately valued and did not record any impairment during fiscal year 2012.    In the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011 we recovered $3.1 million of the other than temporary impairment charge previously recorded.  This was recorded as other income in fiscal year 2011.  

Net realized gains, excluding any impairment charges, were $0.4 million, $1.5 million and $1.8 million for fiscal years 2012, 2011 and 2010 respectively.  As of January 29, 2012, we had a net unrealized gain of $11.5 million, which was comprised of gross unrealized gains of $12.0 million, offset by $0.5 million of gross unrealized losses.  As of January 30, 2011, we had a net unrealized gain of $10.5 million, which was comprised of gross unrealized gains of $11.0 million, offset by $0.5 million of gross unrealized losses. 

Our accounts receivable are highly concentrated and make us vulnerable to adverse changes in our customers’ businesses, and to downturns in the industry and the worldwide economy.  Two customers accounted for approximately 27% of our accounts receivable balance at January 29, 2012. While we strive to limit our exposure to uncollectible accounts receivable using a combination of credit insurance and letters of credit, difficulties in collecting accounts receivable could materially and adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. These difficulties are heightened during periods when economic conditions worsen. We continue to work directly with more foreign customers and it may be difficult to collect accounts receivable from them. We maintain an allowance for doubtful accounts for estimated losses resulting from the inability of our customers to make required payments. This allowance consists of an amount identified for specific customers and an amount based on overall estimated exposure. If the financial condition of our customers were to deteriorate, resulting in an impairment in their ability to make payments, additional allowances may be required, we may be required to defer revenue recognition on sales to affected customers, and we may be required to pay higher credit insurance premiums, any of which could adversely affect our operating results. In the future, we may have to record additional reserves or write-offs and/or defer revenue on certain sales transactions which could negatively impact our financial results.

Our cash balances are held in numerous locations throughout the world, including substantial amounts held outside of the United States. As of January 29, 2012, we had cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $1.23 billion held within the United States and $1.90 billion held outside of the United States.  Most of the amounts held outside the United States may be repatriated to the United States but, under current law, would be subject to U.S. federal income taxes, less applicable foreign tax credits.  Further, repatriation of some foreign balances may be restricted by local laws. As of January 29, 2012, we have not provided for U.S. federal and state income taxes on approximately $1.29 billion of undistributed earnings of non-United States subsidiaries, as such earnings are considered indefinitely reinvested outside the United States.  Although we have no current need to do so, if we repatriate foreign earnings for cash requirements in the United States, we would incur U.S. federal and state income tax, less applicable foreign tax credits, and reduced by the current amount of our U.S. federal and state net operating loss and other tax credit carryforwards.  Further, in addition to the $1.23 billion of cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities held within the United States and available to fund our U.S. operations and any other U.S. cash needs, we have access to external sources of financing if cash is needed in the United States other than by repatriation of foreign earnings where U.S. income tax may otherwise be due.  Accordingly, we do not reasonably expect any material impact on our business, as a whole, or to our financial flexibility with respect to our current cash balances held outside of the United States.

 Patent Cross License Agreement

On January 10, 2011, we entered into a new six-year patent cross licensing agreement, or the License Agreement, with Intel.   Under the License Agreement, Intel has granted to NVIDIA and its qualified subsidiaries, and NVIDIA has granted to Intel and Intel’s qualified subsidiaries, a non-exclusive, non-transferable, worldwide license, without the right to sublicense to all patents that are either owned or controlled by the parties at any time that have a first filing date on or before March 31, 2017, to make, have made (subject to certain limitations), use, sell, offer to sell, import and otherwise dispose of certain semiconductor- and electronic-related products anywhere in the world. NVIDIA’s rights to Intel’s patents have certain specified limitations, including but not limited to, NVIDIA was not granted a license to: (1) certain microprocessors, defined in the License Agreement as “Intel Processors” or “Intel Compatible Processors;” (2) certain chipsets that connect to Intel Processors; or (3) certain flash memory products. In connection with the License Agreement, NVIDIA and Intel mutually agreed to settle all outstanding legal disputes. Under the License Agreement, Intel will pay NVIDIA an aggregate amount of $1.5 billion, payable in annual installments, as follows: a $300 million payment on each of January 18, 2011, January 13, 2012 and January 15, 2013 and a $200 million payment on each of January 15, 2014, 2015 and 2016.  Please refer to Note 4 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Form 10-K for further information regarding this cross license and the settlement. 


52


Cash Tender Offer

During fiscal year 2010, our Board of Directors approved a cash tender offer for certain employee stock options. The tender offer commenced on February 11, 2009 and was completed during the first quarter of fiscal year 2010. The tender offer applied to outstanding stock options held by employees with an exercise price equal to or greater than $17.50 per share. None of the non-employee members of our Board of Directors or our officers who file reports under Section 16(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Securities Exchange Act,were eligible to participate in the tender offer. All eligible options with exercise prices equal to or greater than $17.50 per share but less than $28.00 per share were eligible to receive a cash payment of $3.00 per option in exchange for the cancellation of the eligible option. All eligible options with exercise prices equal to or greater than $28.00 per share were eligible to receive a cash payment of $2.00 per option in exchange for the cancellation of the eligible option. 
 
A total of 28.5 million options were tendered under the offer for an aggregate cash purchase price of $78.1 million, which was paid in exchange for the cancellation of the eligible options.  As a result of the tender offer, we incurred a charge of $140.2 million consisting of $124.1 million related to the remaining unamortized stock based compensation expense associated with the unvested portion of the options tendered in the offer, $11.6 million related to stock-based compensation expense resulting from amounts paid in excess of the fair value of the underlying options, plus $4.5 million related to associated payroll taxes, professional fees and other costs.

Please refer to Note 2 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Form 10-K for further discussion regarding the cash tender offer.

Stock Repurchase Program
 
Our Board of Directors has authorized us, subject to certain specifications, to repurchase shares of our common stock up to an aggregate maximum amount of $2.7 billion through May 2013. The repurchases will be made from time to time in the open market, in privately negotiated transactions, or in structured stock repurchase programs, and may be made in one or more larger repurchases, in compliance with Rule 10b-18 of the Securities Exchange Act, subject to market conditions, applicable legal requirements, and other factors. The program does not obligate NVIDIA to acquire any particular amount of common stock and the program may be suspended at any time at our discretion. As part of our share repurchase program, we have entered into, and we may continue to enter into, structured share repurchase transactions with financial institutions. These agreements generally require that we make an up-front payment in exchange for the right to receive a fixed number of shares of our common stock upon execution of the agreement, and a potential incremental number of shares of our common stock, within a pre-determined range, at the end of the term of the agreement.
  
We did not enter into any structured share repurchase transactions or otherwise purchase any shares of our common stock during fiscal year ended January 29, 2012. Through January 29, 2012, we have repurchased an aggregate of 90.9 million shares under our stock repurchase program for a total cost of $1.46 billion.  As of January 29, 2012, we are authorized, subject to certain specifications, to repurchase shares of our common stock up to $1.24 billion through May 2013. 

Operating Capital and Capital Expenditure Requirements
 
 We believe that our existing cash balances and anticipated cash flows from operations will be sufficient to meet our operating, acquisition and capital requirements for at least the next twelve months. However, there is no assurance that we will not need to raise additional equity or debt financing within this time frame. Additional financing may not be available on favorable terms or at all and may be dilutive to our then-current stockholders. We also may require additional capital for other purposes not presently contemplated. If we are unable to obtain sufficient capital, we could be required to curtail capital equipment purchases or research and development expenditures, which could harm our business. Factors that could affect our cash used or generated from operations and, as a result, our need to seek additional borrowings or capital include:
 
 decreased demand and market acceptance for our products and/or our customers’ products;
 inability to successfully develop and produce in volume production our next-generation products;
competitive pressures resulting in lower than expected average selling prices; and
new product announcements or product introductions by our competitors.

We expect to spend approximately $140.0 million to $180.0 million for capital expenditures during fiscal year 2013, primarily for property development, leasehold improvements, software licenses, emulation equipment, computers and engineering workstations.  In addition, we may continue to use cash in connection with the acquisition of new businesses or assets.


53


For additional factors see “Item 1A. Risk Factors - Risks Related to Our Business, Industry and Partners - Our revenue may fluctuate while our operating expenses are relatively fixed, which makes our results difficult to predict and could cause our results to fall short of expectations.
  
  Product Defect

Our products are complex and may contain defects or experience failures due to any number of issues in design, fabrication, packaging, materials and/or use within a system. If any of our products or technologies contains a defect, compatibility issue or other error, we may have to invest additional research and development efforts to find and correct the issue.  Such efforts could divert our management’s and engineers’ attention from the development of new products and technologies and could increase our operating costs and reduce our gross margin. 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. Also, we may be required to reimburse customers, including for customers’ costs to repair or replace the products in the field, which could cause our revenue to decline. A product recall or a significant number of product returns could be expensive, damage our reputation and could result in the shifting of business to our competitors. Costs associated with correcting defects, errors, bugs or other issues could be significant and could materially harm our financial results. 
 
As of January 29, 2012, we recorded a total cumulative net charge of $475.9 million, of which $466.4 million has been charged against cost of revenue and the remainder has been charged to sales, general and administrative to cover customer warranty, repair, return, replacement and other costs arising from a weak die/packaging material set in certain versions of our previous generation MCP and GPU products and used in notebook configurations.   Included in the charge are the costs of implementing a settlement with the plaintiffs of a putative consumer class action lawsuit related to this same matter and other related estimated consumer class action settlements.  
 
The previous generation MCP and GPU products that are impacted were included in a number of notebook products that were shipped and sold in significant quantities. Certain notebook configurations of these products are failing in the field at higher than normal rates. Testing suggests a weak material set of die/package combination, system thermal management designs, and customer use patterns are contributing factors for these failures. We have worked with our customers to develop and have made available for download a software driver to cause the system fan to begin operation at the powering up of the system and reduce the thermal stress on these chips. We have also recommended to our customers that they consider changing the thermal management of the products in their notebook system designs. We intend to fully support our customers in their repair and replacement of these impacted products that fail, and their other efforts to mitigate the consequences of these failures. The weak die/packaging material combination is not used in any of our products that are currently in production.

Contractual Obligations

The following table summarizes our contractual obligations as of January 29, 2012:

Contractual Obligations
Total
 
Within 1 Year
 
2-3 Years
 
4-5 Years
 
After 5 Years
 
All Other
 
(In thousands)
Operating leases
$
158,903

 
$
34,567

 
$
52,540

 
$
38,699

 
$
33,097

 
$

Capital lease
35,540

 
4,821

 
9,813

 
10,144

 
10,762

 

Purchase obligations (1)
561,331

 
561,331

 

 

 

 

Uncertain tax positions, interest and penalties (2)
147,819

 

 

 

 

 
147,819

Capital purchase obligations
40,503

 
40,503

 

 

 

 

Total contractual obligations
$
944,096

 
$
641,222

 
$
62,353

 
$
48,843

 
$
43,859

 
$
147,819


(1)
Represents our inventory purchase commitments as of January 29, 2012.
(2)
Represents unrecognized tax benefits of $147.8 million which consists of $53.5 million recorded in non-current income taxes payable and $84.8 million reflected as a reduction to the related deferred tax assets, and the related interest and penalties on the non-current income tax payable of $9.5 million as of January 29, 2012.  We are unable to reasonably estimate the timing of any potential tax liability or interest/penalty payments in individual years due to uncertainties in the underlying income tax positions and the timing of the effective settlement of such tax positions.


54


Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

As of January 29, 2012, we had no material off-balance sheet arrangements as defined in Regulation S-K 303(a)(4)(ii).

Adoption of New and Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements

Please see Note 1 of the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements in Part IV, Item 15 of this Form 10-K for a discussion of adoption of new and recently issued accounting pronouncements.
 
ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK

Investment and Interest Rate Risk
 
As of January 29, 2012 and January 30, 2011, we had $3.13 billion and $2.49 billion, respectively, in cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities. We invest in a variety of financial instruments, consisting principally of cash and cash equivalents, asset-backed securities, commercial paper, mortgage-backed securities issued by Government-sponsored enterprises, money market funds and debt securities of corporations, municipalities and the United States government and its agencies. As of January 29, 2012, we did not have any investments in auction-rate preferred securities. Our investments are denominated in United States dollars.
 
All of the cash equivalents and marketable securities are treated as “available-for-sale.” Investments in both fixed rate and floating rate interest earning instruments carry a degree of interest rate risk. Fixed rate securities may have their market value adversely impacted due to a rise in interest rates, while floating rate securities may produce less income than expected if interest rates fall. Due in part to these factors, our future investment income may fall short of expectations due to changes in interest rates or if the decline in fair value of our publicly traded debt or equity investments is judged to be other-than-temporary. We may suffer losses in principal if we are forced to sell securities that decline in securities market value due to changes in interest rates. However, because any debt securities we hold are classified as “available-for-sale,” no gains or losses are realized in our Consolidated Statements of Operations due to changes in interest rates unless such securities are sold prior to maturity or unless declines in value are determined to be other-than-temporary. These securities are reported at fair value with the related unrealized gains and losses included in accumulated other comprehensive income (loss), a component of stockholders’ equity, net of tax.
 
As of January 29, 2012, we performed a sensitivity analysis on our floating and fixed rate financial investments. According to our analysis, parallel shifts in the yield curve of both plus or minus 0.5% would result in changes in fair values for these investments of approximately $13.7 million.
 
The financial turmoil that affected the banking system and financial markets and increased the possibility that financial institutions might consolidate or go out of business resulted in a tightening in the credit markets, a low level of liquidity in many financial markets, and extreme volatility in fixed income, credit, currency and equity markets. There could be a number of follow-on effects from the credit crisis on our business, including insolvency of key suppliers resulting in product delays; inability of customers, including channel partners, to obtain credit to finance purchases of our products and/or customer, including channel partner, insolvencies; and failure of financial institutions, which may negatively impact our treasury operations. Other income and expense could also vary materially from expectations depending on gains or losses realized on the sale or exchange of financial instruments; impairment charges related to debt securities as well as equity and other investments; interest rates; and cash, cash equivalent and marketable securities balances. Volatility in the financial markets and economic uncertainty increases the risk that the actual amounts realized in the future on our financial instruments could differ significantly from the fair values currently assigned to them. As of January 29, 2012, our investments in government agencies and government sponsored enterprises represented approximately 51% of our total investment portfolio, while the financial sector accounted for approximately 24% of our total investment portfolio.  Of the financial sector investments, over half are guaranteed by the U.S. government.  Substantially all of our investments are with A/A2 or better rated securities.  If the fair value of our investments in these sectors was to decline by 2%-5%, the fair values of these investments would decline by approximately $43-$107 million

Exchange Rate Risk
 
We consider our direct exposure to foreign exchange rate fluctuations to be minimal.  Gains or losses from foreign currency remeasurement are included in “Other income (expense), net” in our Consolidated Financial Statements and to date have not been significant.  The impact of foreign currency transaction gain (loss) included in determining net income (loss) for fiscal years 2012, 2011 and 2010 was $1.6 million, $(2.4) million and $(0.9) million, respectively.  Currently, sales and arrangements with third-party manufacturers provide for pricing and payment in United States dollars, and, therefore, are not subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Increases in the value of the United States’ dollar relative to other currencies would make our products more expensive,

55


which could negatively impact our ability to compete. Conversely, decreases in the value of the United States’ dollar relative to other currencies could result in our suppliers raising their prices in order to continue doing business with us. Fluctuations in currency exchange rates could harm our business in the future. 
 
We may enter into certain transactions such as forward contracts which are designed to reduce the future potential impact resulting from changes in foreign currency exchange rates. There were no forward exchange contracts outstanding at January 29, 2012.

ITEM 8. FINANCIAL STATEMENTS AND SUPPLEMENTARY DATA
 
The information required by this Item is set forth in our Consolidated Financial Statements and Notes thereto included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
 
ITEM 9. CHANGES IN AND DISAGREEMENTS WITH ACCOUNTANTS ON ACCOUNTING AND FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE

Not applicable.
 
ITEM 9A. CONTROLS AND PROCEDURES
 
Controls and Procedures
 
Disclosure Controls and Procedures
 
Based on their evaluation as of January 29, 2012, our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Interim Chief Financial Officer, has concluded that our disclosure controls and procedures (as defined in Rule 13a-15(e) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or the Exchange Act) were effective to provide reasonable assurance.
 
Management’s Annual Report on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
 
Our management is responsible for establishing and maintaining adequate internal control over financial reporting, as such term is defined in Exchange Act Rule 13a-15(f). Under the supervision and with the participation of our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Interim Chief Financial Officer, we conducted an evaluation of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of January 29, 2012 based on the criteria set forth in Internal Control - Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. Based on our evaluation under the criteria set forth in Internal Control — Integrated Framework, our management concluded that our internal control over financial reporting was effective as of January 29, 2012.
 
The effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting as of January 29, 2012 has been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, an independent registered public accounting firm, as stated in its report which is included herein.
 
Changes in Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
 
There were no changes in our internal control over financial reporting during our last fiscal quarter that have materially affected, or are reasonably likely to materially affect, our internal control over financial reporting.
 
Inherent Limitations on Effectiveness of Controls
 
Our management, including our Chief Executive Officer and Interim Chief Financial Officer, does not expect that our disclosure controls and procedures or our internal controls, will prevent all error and all fraud. A control system, no matter how well conceived and operated, can provide only reasonable, not absolute, assurance that the objectives of the control system are met. Further, the design of a control system must reflect the fact that there are resource constraints, and the benefits of controls must be considered relative to their costs. Because of the inherent limitations in all control systems, no evaluation of controls can provide absolute assurance that all control issues and instances of fraud, if any, within NVIDIA have been detected.
 
ITEM 9B.  OTHER INFORMATION
 
None. 


56


PART III
 
ITEM 10. DIRECTORS, EXECUTIVE OFFICERS AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE
 
Identification of Directors
 
Reference is made to the information regarding directors appearing under the heading “Proposal 1 - Election of Directors” in our 2012 Proxy Statement, which information is hereby incorporated by reference.
 
Identification of Executive Officers
 
Reference is made to the information regarding executive officers appearing under the heading “Executive Officers of the Registrant” in Part I of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, which information is hereby incorporated by reference.
 
Identification of Audit Committee and Financial Expert
 
Reference is made to the information regarding directors appearing under the heading “Report of the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors” and “Information about the Board of Directors and Corporate Governance” in our 2012 Proxy Statement, which information is hereby incorporated by reference.
 
Material Changes to Procedures for Recommending Directors
 
Reference is made to the information regarding directors appearing under the heading “Information about the Board of Directors and Corporate Governance” in our 2012 Proxy Statement, which information is hereby incorporated by reference.
 
Compliance with Section 16(a) of the Exchange Act

Reference is made to the information appearing under the heading “Section 16(a) Beneficial Ownership Reporting Compliance” in our 2012 Proxy Statement, which information is hereby incorporated by reference.
 
Code of Conduct
 
Reference is made to the information appearing under the heading “Information about the Board of Directors and Corporate Governance - Code of Conduct” in our 2012 Proxy Statement, which information is hereby incorporated by reference. The full text of our “Code” and “Financial Team Code” are published on the Investor Relations portion of our web site, under Corporate Governance, at www.nvidia.com.  The contents of our website are not a part of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
  
ITEM 11. EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION
 
The information required by this item is hereby incorporate by reference from the sections entitled “Executive Compensation”, “Compensation Committee Interlocks and Insider Participation”, “Director Compensation”  and “Compensation Committee Report” in our 2012 Proxy Statement.

ITEM 12. SECURITY OWNERSHIP OF CERTAIN BENEFICIAL OWNERS AND MANAGEMENT AND RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS

Ownership of NVIDIA Securities
 
The information required by this item is hereby incorporated by reference from the section entitled “Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management” in our 2012 Proxy Statement.

Equity Compensation Plan Information
           
Information regarding our equity compensation plans, including both stockholder approved plans and non-stockholder approved plans, will be contained in our 2012 Proxy Statement under the caption ”Equity Compensation Plan Information,” and is incorporated by reference into this Annual Report on Form 10-K.




57


ITEM 13. CERTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND RELATED TRANSACTIONS, AND DIRECTOR INDEPENDENCE
 
The information required by this item is hereby incorporated by reference from the sections entitled “Transactions with Related Persons”, “Review of Transactions with Related Persons” and “Information about the Board of Directors and Corporate Governance - Independence of the Members of the Board of Directors” in our 2012 Proxy Statement.

ITEM 14. PRINCIPAL ACCOUNTING FEES AND SERVICES
 
The information required by this item is hereby incorporated by reference from the section entitled “Fees Billed by the Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm” in our 2012 Proxy Statement. 


58


PART IV
 
ITEM 15.                      EXHIBITS, FINANCIAL STATEMENT SCHEDULE
             
 
 
 
 
 
Page
(a)
 
1.
 
Consolidated Financial Statements
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(a)
 
2.
 
Financial Statement Schedule
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
(a)
 
3.
 
Exhibits
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


59


REPORT OF INDEPENDENT REGISTERED PUBLIC ACCOUNTING FIRM
 

To the Stockholders and Board of Directors of NVIDIA Corporation:

In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements listed in the index appearing under Item 15(a)(1) present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of NVIDIA Corporation and its subsidiaries at January 29, 2012 and January 30, 2011, and the results of their operations and their cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended January 29, 2012, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America.  In addition, in our opinion, the financial statement schedule listed in the index appearing under Item 15(a)(2) presents fairly, in all material respects, the information set forth therein when read in conjunction with the related consolidated financial statements.  Also in our opinion, the Company maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of January 29, 2012, based on criteria established in Internal Control - Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO).  The Company's management is responsible for these financial statements and financial statement schedule, for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting, included in Management's Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting appearing under Item 9A.  Our responsibility is to express opinions on these financial statements, on the financial statement schedule, and on the Company's internal control over financial reporting based on our integrated audits.  We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States).  Those standards require that we plan and perform the audits to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement and whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects.  Our audits of the financial statements included examining, on a test basis, evidence supporting the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements, assessing the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, and evaluating the overall financial statement presentation.  Our audit of internal control over financial reporting included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, and testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk.  Our audits also included performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinions.

A company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles.  A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (i) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (ii) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (iii) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.

Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements.  Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.

/s/ PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

San Jose, CA
March 13, 2012


60


NVIDIA CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
(In thousands, except per share data)

 
January 29,
2012
 
January 30,
2011
 
January 31,
2010
Revenue
$
3,997,930

 
$
3,543,309

 
$
3,326,445

Cost of revenue
1,941,413

 
2,134,219

 
2,149,522

Gross profit
2,056,517

 
1,409,090

 
1,176,923

Operating expenses:
 
 
 
 
 
Research and development
1,002,605

 
848,830

 
908,851

Sales, general and administrative
405,613

 
361,513

 
367,017

Legal settlement

 
(57,000
)
 

Total operating expenses
1,408,218

 
1,153,343

 
1,275,868

Income (loss) from operations
648,299

 
255,747

 
(98,945
)
Interest income
19,149

 
19,057

 
23,115

Interest expense
(3,089
)
 
(3,127
)
 
(3,320
)
Other income (expense), net
(963
)
 
(508
)
 
(3,144
)
Income (loss) before income tax
663,396

 
271,169

 
(82,294
)
Income tax expense (benefit)
82,306

 
18,023

 
(14,307
)
Net income (loss)
$
581,090

 
$
253,146

 
$
(67,987
)
Basic net income (loss) per share
$
0.96

 
$
0.44

 
$
(0.12
)
Weighted average shares used in basic per share computation
603,646

 
575,177

 
549,574

Diluted net income (loss) per share
$
0.94

 
$
0.43

 
$
(0.12
)
Weighted average shares used in diluted per share computation  
616,371

 
588,684

 
549,574

 

 
See accompanying notes to the consolidated financial statements.


61


NVIDIA CORPORATION AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(In thousands, except share and per share data)

 
January 29, 2012
 
January 30, 2011
ASSETS
 
 
 
Current assets :
 
 
 
 Cash and cash equivalents
$
667,876

 
$
665,361

Marketable securities
2,461,700

 
1,825,202

Accounts receivable, less allowances of $14,854 and $15,839 in 2012 and  2011, respectively
336,143

 
348,770

  Inventories
340,297

 
345,525

Prepaid expenses and other
49,411

 
32,636

Deferred income taxes
49,931

 
9,456

Total current assets
3,905,358

 
3,226,950

Property and equipment, net
560,072

 
568,857

Goodwill
641,030

 
369,844

Intangible assets, net
326,136

 
288,745

Other assets
120,332

 
40,850

Total assets
$
5,552,928

 
$
4,495,246

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
 
 
 
Current liabilities:
 
 
 
Accounts payable
$
335,072

 
$
286,138

Accrued liabilities and other
594,886

 
656,544

Total current liabilities
929,958

 
942,682

Other long-term liabilities
455,807

 
347,713

Capital lease ob