NVIDIA (NVDA 1.64%) put the final touches on its incredible fiscal 2021 -- the 12 months ended Jan. 31. Revenue in Q4 surged 61% year over year to $5.0 billion, ahead of management's guidance provided a few months earlier for revenue up to $4.9 billion. Adjusted net income increased 67% to $1.96 billion.

The pioneer of the graphics processing unit has a full head of steam going into the new year and said it expects revenue to be $5.3 billion at the midpoint of its guidance for Q1. The outlook implies a 71% increase from the first quarter last year. 

Someone in a suit holding a tablet. A brain illustrated with electrical connections hovers above the screen.

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The gears of innovation are turning

It's difficult to quickly summarize everything going on at NVIDIA these days. The company's expanding portfolio of GPUs and related semiconductor system designs is quickly emerging as the leader in next-gen computing. Via healthcare, automotive, cloud computing, and personal computing tech, NVIDIA touches more lives on a daily basis than the average consumer is even aware of. 

But two basic trends have been driving the company's financial results higher and will continue to do so: Gaming (the realm in which NVIDIA traces its roots) and data centers. Both segments hauled in record sales in Q4. Gaming revenue was $2.5 billion, up 67% from last year, driven by the release of its new RTX 30 series GPUs for high-end video game graphics. Management said on the earnings call it estimates only some 15% of gamers own RTX 30 hardware, not to mention the millions of new gamers being converted every year. RTX 30 is expected to continue driving robust gaming segment growth in the year ahead.

Data center Q4 revenue was $1.9 billion, up 97% from a year ago, as a new data center upgrade cycle gets under way. Unlike in times past, the GPU is being featured prominently in data centers as a computing accelerator -- leveling up cloud computing services and helping organizations harness the power of artificial intelligence. These network hardware updates are also in the early innings and are expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

Put simply, NVIDIA's run of double-digit sales growth looks far from spent as it kicks off its 2022 fiscal year.