As artificial intelligence (AI) gains more popular attention, one of the biggest players expected to benefit from increased AI implementation is Nvidia (NVDA  ).

On Thursday, Nvidia reported better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings, thanks in-part for increased demand for chips that help power advanced computerized processes necessary for AI applications. Sales for its Data Center division, which produces AI chips, rose 11% year-over-year.

CEO Jensen Huang said on an earnings call that AI technology is at an "inflection point, setting up for broad adoption reaching into every industry," adding that there is "a sense of urgency at enterprises around the world to develop and deploy AI strategies."

It is that surging demand prompting Nvidia to raise it first-quarter sales guidances for fiscal 2024 to roughly $6.5 billion, topping analyst estimates.

Nvidia shares are currently up over 60% year-to-date, making it one of the best performers in the S&P 500 (SPY  ) so far this year. That strength has brought the company's market value to more than $580 billion, five times more than rival Intel (INTC  ).

The company's recent success in the chipmaker-space can be attributed to its large market share when it comes to graphic processing units (GPUs), with Nvidia controlling about 80%, Reuters reports. The rest of the market is mostly commanded by rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD  ), which holds roughly 20%.

These chips were once (and still are) the darling of video game PCs and cryptocurrency miners, and now are gaining the attention from generative AI -- the technology behind OpenAI's popular ChatGPT chat bot. GPUs work by handling specific math processing necessary for complex programs, while other computer chips like generic central processing units (CPUs) power a broader range of computing tasks, but tend to be less efficient.

Following the chipmaker's earnings beat, Goldman Sachs (GS  ) upgraded Nvidia shares to Buy from a Neutral rating on Thursday, citing a rosy outlook for the company when it comes to AI adoption.

Analyst Toshiya Hari said the "combination of positive estimate revisions and a potential expansion in the stock's multiple -- consistent with historical recovery phases -- will drive continued outperformance in the stock."

Piper Sandler analyst Harsh Kumar said both Nvidia and AMD stand to benefit from advances in AI technology for both hardware and processing. "In our opinion, these two companies are head and shoulders above everybody else," Kumar said.