Nvidia has overtaken tech giant Apple as the world’s second most valuable company, hitting a $3 trillion market cap milestone for the first time after seeing its shares rise by 5.2% on Wednesday.

The surge in the AI chipmaker’s market value marks a dynamic shift in Silicon Valley and the tech industry. The last time Nvidia topped Apple was more than two decades earlier in 2002, five years before the launch of the first iPhone. Back then, both companies were valued under $10 billion.

Nvidia’s extraordinary rise owes to the boom in artificial intelligence (AI) fueled by the company. Their string of gains commenced when they first crossed their trillion dollar mark in market capitalization in May 2023, which it surpassed by crossing $2 trillion for the first time in February 2024, with its shares more than doubling this year.

Last month, Nvidia announced a 10-for-1 stock split “to make stock ownership more accessible to employees and investors”. The split, which goes into effect on Friday, will likely make the company’s shares even more attractive to small-time investors.

However, Nvidia has also sparked controversy in recent months, including accusations of acting like a “GPU Cartel” and controlling supply in the data center market.

While Nvidia rides on its wave of AI, Apple, the first company to see its market capitalization breach the $1 trillion and $2 trillion marks, has seen its stock price rise to only about 5% this year. It is additionally grappling with lukewarm demand for iPhones and difficult competition in China, as well as perceptions that it is falling behind in the race to adopt and embrace AI.

Microsoft remains the world’s most valuable company with a market value of $3.14 trillion, retaining its position due to investments in ChatGPT-maker OpenAI.