Semiconductors are the advanced computer chips that power our everyday electronics, though their list of applications is rapidly growing. Household items are increasingly intelligent -- even modern refrigerators need computing power -- but some of the greatest future demand for chips is likely to come from technologies associated with electric vehicles and data centers. 

Two of the leading chipmakers in those fields are Nvidia (NVDA 9.32%) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD -3.08%). They continue to fight for their slice of a semiconductor industry that could exceed $1.5 trillion in annual value over the next decade -- a big opportunity for investors.

However, the value of Nvidia and AMD shares have declined by 44% and 54% from their all-time highs, respectively, amid this year's economic downturn, paired with a series of industry-specific challenges like an oversupply of chips. But here's why those share price dips are worth buying. 

Nvidia's future might be in self-driving vehicle technologies

Like most semiconductor companies, Nvidia is having a turbulent 2022. After the industry raced to fill pandemic-related supply shortages throughout 2020 and 2021, it ended up producing more than consumers needed, which led to a glut this year. That impacted prices, which meant less revenue, but companies like Nvidia were also met with a much weaker economy, where consumers were spending less money on expensive undertakings like upgrading their computers.

As a result, Nvidia's gaming segment has tumbled, with revenue dropping 51% year over year in the recent third quarter of fiscal 2023 (ended Oct. 30) alone. What was once the company's largest driver of revenue has now taken a back seat to the data center business, which continues to boom.

Nvidia is a pioneer of artificial intelligence (AI), which it's applying in the data center through its advanced hardware, allowing businesses to draw valuable insights from the mountains of information they generate every day.

Nvidia's data center segment generated $11.3 billion in revenue during the first nine months of fiscal 2023, which was a 55% jump compared to the year-ago period. 

But there's another opportunity for Nvidia growing even more quickly, and that's the company's automotive segment. It's still tiny compared to the data center segment, with just $251 million in sales in Q3, but that was a whopping 86% year-over-year increase. Its end-to-end autonomous self-driving software and hardware solutions have amassed an $11 billion sales pipeline to dozens of the world's largest car manufacturers. 

The upshot is that the autonomous self-driving vehicle industry could be worth over $2.1 trillion per year by 2030, which eclipses the semiconductor industry's projected value. Therefore, Nvidia is playing for not one, but at least two trillion-dollar long-term opportunities. 

That's reason enough for investors to take advantage of the recent dip in Nvidia stock.

Advanced Micro Devices is down, but certainly not out

AMD has a much greater exposure to weak consumer spending than Nvidia does. Not only does it sell stand-alone semiconductors for personal computing, but it also supplies chips for incredibly popular consumer products like Microsoft's Xbox Series X and Sony's PlayStation 5. AMD chips also power the infotainment systems in Tesla's electric vehicles.

When demand for those products declines, so goes the demand for AMD's chips. In the recent third quarter (ended Sept. 30), the company saw a 40% year-over-year decline in its client segment, where some of the abovementioned hardware is reported. Game consoles fall under the gaming segment, which grew by a modest 14%. 

But AMD is like Nvidia in one very positive way too, because growth in its data center segment continues to soar. It jumped 45% in Q3 to $1.6 billion. AMD is the choice of chipmaker for all the world's leading providers of cloud computing services, including Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Alphabet's Google Cloud. 

This is key, because more businesses are shifting their operations online, and the cloud is set to grow into a $1.5 trillion market by the end of the current decade (according to Grand View Research) as a result. 

AMD's third quarter overall was one of its most challenging in recent memory, because it significantly missed its own revenue forecast by about $1.1 billion. But there might be a reprieve on the way, as inflation appears to have peaked back in June, which implies the worst of the U.S. Federal Reserve's interest rate increases might be behind us.

If that's the case, the consumer might be in a much better position in the new year, which could reignite AMD's lagging business units and supercharge its growth. With AMD stock currently down 56% from its all-time high, that presents a potential opportunity for investors.