Nvidia grows on Tegra, Tesla, Kepler popularity

November 9, 2012 // 11:26 a.m.

Tags: #financial #hpc #jen-hsun-huang #kepler #nvidia #oak-ridge #revenue #smartphones #supercomputer #supercomputing #tablets #tegra #tesla #titan

Nvidia has released its third-quarter earnings call, and for those who dismiss tablets and smartphones as kids' toys it contains a surprising figure: a third of the company's business is non-PC.

The company's latest financial results show strong growth with Nvidia's revenue for the quarter hitting a whopping $1.2 billion, growth of 15.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter and 12.9 per cent year-on-year. Much of that growth, however, comes from what the company calls 'non-PC' products - primarily its Tegra family of ARM-based system-on-chip processors for tablets and smartphones. With Tegra and related products now accounting for almost a third of the company's business, it's clear that the gamble taken back in 2008 has paid off in spades.

The other major success from the call is the company's Kepler family of graphics processors, highlighted by Nvidia president and chief executive Jen-Hsun Huang as 'winning across the special-purpose PC markets we serve, from gaming to design to supercomputing' against high-performance graphics rival AMD.

Some of that impressive growth is likely to come from a major win in the high-performance computing market, where Nvidia made a serious win in providing 18,668 Tesla GPU-based accelerator cards for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Titan open-science supercomputer - a device which, Nvidia claims, derives 90 per cent of its overall processing power from the Tesla boards.

Surprisingly, given how many companies are blaming poor financial performance on a pre-Windows 8 market-wide slump, Nvidia's consumer GPU unit also reported growth with revenue up 10 per cent quarter-on-quarter thanks to the launch of the lower-cost GeForce 660 Ti, GTX 660, GTX 650 Ti and GTX 650 products in the company's GeForce 600 GPU family.

What Nvidia didn't share during the earnings call are its plans for the future, but a 64-bit Tegra chipset based on ARM's new ARMv8 architecture is believed to be in the works for both consumer products and the high-performance PC market, where Nvidia plans to join the low-power chips with its Tesla GPU boards to provide high-performance and energy-efficient supercomputing platforms.

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