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Nvidia talked up its data center AI sales and strong just-past quarter to keep everyone’s eyes distracted from an otherwise lukewarm financial year.
The graphics-math accelerator slinger on Thursday said for its fourth quarter of fiscal 2020, ended January 26 (yes, we double-checked this, Nvidia’s fiscal 2020 ends in January):
“Adoption of Nvidia accelerated computing drove excellent results, with record data center revenue,” said CEO Jensen Huang. “Our initiatives are achieving great success.”
The full year was less impressive, thanks to poor first and second quarters.
In discussing the numbers with Wall St analysts on a conference call, Huang credited the data center boost to the growth of organizations fitting Nv chips to servers to accelerate AI workloads. With more companies, hyperscalers, and researchers looking to craft deep-learning projects, Huang says his company’s GPUs are in high demand to speed up training and inference. Tesla V100 chip sales were up, and T4 inference parts were up four-fold, year over year, we’re told.
We wonder if it’s not just organizations buying data-center-grade Nvidia graphics processors but also cheaper gaming chipsets for their servers, driving up gaming and data-center market revenue simultaneously. Nv banned the use of GeForce and Titan parts in data centers. However, gaming sales were below expectations, despite the year-on-year leap, so maybe this scavenging isn’t happening to a noticeable degree.
“The primary driver for our growth is AI,” Huang told analysts. “The velocity by which the industry has collected the benefits and continues to evolve and advance is really quite incredible.”
Nvidia’s coming quarter looks to be slightly less impressive than its Q4 amid the ongoing coronavirus emergency in China. The Silicon Valley giant said the effects of the Wuhan bio-nasty outbreak on manufacturing and shipping in Asia are expected to cost it around $100m in lost production and revenue.
Overall, Nvidia expected its Q1 revenue to come in at $3bn, plus or minus two per cent, higher than Wall St’s expectation of $2.86bn and better than the year-ago’s $2.2bn.
Still, investors were impressed enough by the strong quarter to push Nvidia shares up more than five per cent in after-hours trading to $284.80 apiece. The semiconductor darling is also still discussing its Mellanox acquisition with Chinese watchdogs. ®