The competition for market capitalization in the stock market remains intense, with power dynamics constantly shifting. In January, Microsoft surpassed its long-standing rival Apple to become the most valuable company globally, only the second company to achieve a market capitalization of $3 trillion. Now, who's up next in the race?

Last week, Nvidia claimed the position of the third-largest company in the US after overtaking Google parent Alphabet and Amazon. Leaving behind these two stalwarts of the top five, the chipmaker reached a market capitalization of $1.8 trillion, with its shares trading at $725 each, just $15 shy of its record high.

Nvidia Stock Chart by TradingView

In fact, Nvidia's value now exceeds that of Berkshire Hathaway led by Warren Buffett, electric vehicle front-runner Tesla, and its semiconductor counterpart Advanced Micro Devices, combined. The company is also inching closer to the $2 trillion milestone, a feat accomplished only by Apple, Microsoft, and Alphabet.

Merely in October 2022, Nvidia stock was trading at $112 each. Since then, the darling of Wall Street has surged 6.5 times, solidifying Nvidia's status as an unstoppable force in the stock market.

Nvidia Stock Chart by TradingView

Nvidia dominated as the top-performing stock in the entire S&P 500 last year, maintaining its position as the leader this year as well. This surge in share value is attributed to expectations that the company will benefit from the increasing demand for chips to fuel artificial intelligence systems. Nvidia has emerged as the primary beneficiary of the AI boom among the "Magnificent Seven" stocks in recent months, with its AI server chips commanding prices exceeding $20,000 each. Companies such as Google and Amazon require thousands of these chips to support their cloud services.

Nvidia is set to announce its quarterly earnings on February 21, with analysts forecasting a staggering 118% annual growth in sales to $59.04 billion. There is immense pressure on the company to surpass investors' expectations.

Given these factors, the question arises: how long will this rapid surge continue? It appears that the frenzy surrounding AI is the primary driver behind Nvidia's soaring share prices. As long as Nvidia maintains a firm grip on the limited chip supply, the momentum of demand is likely to sustain the narrative of continuous upward growth.