Nvidia (NVDA 4.35%) is one of the most impactful semiconductor companies in the world. But the maker of advanced computer chips is rapidly expanding beyond its hardware business and into platform computing, with a range of innovative software products built using its pioneering expertise in artificial intelligence. 

The company just released its financial results for the fiscal second quarter of 2023 (ended July 31), and despite surprising investors with a slowdown in its gaming segment -- which was once its largest revenue driver -- there were plenty of positives investors should be paying attention to. 

Nvidia stock is down 51% from its all-time high, and here's why that's a big long-term opportunity in light of its recent financial results. 

Gaming slowed, but the data center soared

Nvidia's graphics chips (GPU) have become a staple among PC gamers worldwide, and they drove a surge in gaming segment revenue for the company during the worst of the pandemic as people were spending more time at home. But in the recent quarter, gaming revenue was the (negative) headline with a 33% drop year over year to $2.04 billion. 

The company cited a range of reasons for the slowdown, including softness in Europe due to geopolitical tensions and soaring inflation worldwide, which has hurt consumer spending power. In difficult economic times, consumers are less likely to spend big money on expensive computer chips for leisure purposes like gaming. 

The segment will likely bounce back eventually, especially thanks to innovations like Nvidia's cloud-based GeForce Now platform. It allows its 20 million registered players to access over 1,350 titles online without the need to constantly download updates and patches.

But Nvidia's data center segment picked up much of the slack in the quarter with a whopping 61% increase in sales to $3.81 billion. This is now the company's largest business unit, and arguably its most exciting in the short term as it continues to drive innovation using artificial intelligence. Historically, data centers have been used to store information, but Nvidia's advanced chips have turned them into powerful engines for machine learning, analyzing the mountains of data to deliver valuable insights to customers.

Overall, Nvidia's gaming and data center segments made up 87% of the company's total revenue during the quarter, which came in at $6.7 billion, or just 3% higher than the same period last year.

Nvidia's automotive segment is a standout

The remaining 13% of Nvidia's revenue in the quarter came from its two smallest segments: professional visualization, and automotive and robotics. Professional visualization is the larger of the two with $496 million in revenue, and it shrank 4% year over year. However, there's an exciting story unfolding in the automotive space.

That business unit is powered by Nvidia's Drive platform, an end-to-end solution for car manufacturers looking to build autonomous self-driving capabilities into their vehicles. At least 35 car brands have signed on to use the technology so far, and electric vehicle maker Nio is one of the latest to unveil a new model powered by Drive Orin.

Nvidia's automotive segment grew by a sizable 45% during the second quarter. That only equated to $220 million in revenue, but the company has already built an $11 billion sales pipeline through 2026, so this business is about to get a lot bigger. 

Nvidia stock is a bet on the future

Artificial intelligence is the future. An estimate by the McKinsey Global Institute suggests it will add $13 trillion to the global economy by 2030, with 70% of companies using the technology in one way or another. Similarly, autonomous vehicles are the future of the car industry, and that particular segment of the market could be a $2.1 trillion annual opportunity over the same time frame, according to Allied Market Research.

Nvidia has built leadership positions already in both of these areas, so investors might do well to disregard short-term bumps in the road and instead focus on the bigger picture.

Plus, Nvidia is a profitable company with $11 billion in non-GAAP (adjusted) net income over the last four quarters, so it's a relatively low-risk way for investors to gain exposure to these emerging industries. Smaller players in areas like artificial intelligence don't have the benefit of large, established data center and gaming units to feed their investments in innovation, so Nvidia is building its presence from a position of great strength.

Put simply, investors have sold Nvidia stock recently based on its second-quarter results, but that might be a gift for people who are willing to adopt a five- to 10-year time horizon.