Monster chip time. 

Chip-maker Nvidia (NVDA) - Get Report  plans to launch a new graphics processing unit that could be a major catalyst for the stock, though it has already seen an impressive year. The stock is beating the broader market so far, but Nvidia isn't satisfied just yet.

"NVDA is expected to introduce its latest gaming GPU later this month and by all accounts, the launch will be a massive one and could be a catalyst for the stock," analyst Jeff Johnston of Arthur Wood Equity Research wrote in a note out to clients Thursday morning. 

Nvidia's launch of Volta, its new chip, is the giant's latest swing at expanding its No. 2 position in GPU market share. Volta has been ready for launch for a while now, as Nvidia has been cracking away at an ecosystem for the chip.

"This extra time has enabled NVDA to pre-build a significant ecosystem of applications and to make sure that yields will be high when manufacturing starts," Johnston wrote.

And what really sells Johnston on the promise of Volta is the fact that Nvidia is not following a typical industry playbook ahead of the launch. Usually, chip makers pay a game developer to write a game that uses the new GPU, so that the chip seller can boast stellar results of the chip. But Nvidia isn't doing that this time around.

"All of these anecdotes make it sound like NVDA is very confident that Volta/Turning will be a massive success," Johnston said. 

"The GPU sounds like it's going to be an absolute monster," he said, adding that "We see a nice upgrade cycle and share gains on the horizon, all of which should set up as a positive catalyst for NVDA's stock."

Nvidia is already up almost 22% year-to-date, outpacing the Nasdaq's gain of 12.6%. It reports earnings Aug. 16. Wall Street is expecting adjusted EPS of $1.84 on $3.09 billion revenue. 

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