Nvidia Corp. /zigman2/quotes/200467500/composite NVDA +0.02% surpassed Intel Corp. /zigman2/quotes/203649727/composite INTC -1.28% as the largest U.S. chip maker by market cap for the first time on Wednesday. Nvidia shares closed up 3.5% at $408.64, giving it a market cap of $251.31 billion, while Intel shares finished up 0.5% at $58.61, giving it a market cap of $248.16 billion, according to FactSet data. For the year, Nvidia shares have gained 74% while Intel shares have slipped 2%, compared with a 11% gain in the PHLX Semiconductor Index /zigman2/quotes/210598361/realtime SOX -1.11% , a 17% gain in the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP +0.27% , and a 1.9% decline in the S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.20% . While it is not the first time a U.S. chip maker has surpassed Intel in market cap, it is the first time for Nvidia. Back in 1999 and 2000, Texas Instruments Inc. /zigman2/quotes/202237907/composite TXN -1.07% surpassed Intel in cap a few times, and between late 2012 and mid-2014 Qualcomm Inc. /zigman2/quotes/206679220/composite QCOM -2.06% and Intel often jockeyed for the No. 1 position, according to Dow Jones data.