Feeds

Nvidia revenues fight the PC tide, but annual profits pinched

Tegra 4 ready for Q2 launch

High performance access to file storage

Graphics chip and processor wannabe Nvidia turned in its numbers for its final quarter of fiscal 2013 after markets closed on Wednesday, and the top and bottom lines were more or less in line with expectations, given the cutthroat nature of the PC, smartphone, and tablet markets these days.

In the quarter ended on January 27, overall sales rose by 16.1 per cent to just over $1.1bn, bolstered by a $66m payment from Intel for intellectual property licensing after the settlement of a lawsuit relating to GPUs a few years back. Net income was $174m in the period, up 50 per cent. For the full year, Nvidia booked $4.28bn in revenues, up 7.1 per cent, but net income dropped by 3.2 per cent to $562.5m.

Starting during the current quarter, Nvidia will report its financial results in new categories: the Tegra system-on-chip business, which integrates ARM-based CPUs with GPUs, and the standalone GPU business, which includes GPUs for notebooks, desktops, and workstations as well as Tesla GPU coprocessors for servers and workstations and the winding-down CPU chipset business.

In the just-complted quarter, GPU sales were up 7.1 per cent compared to the year-ago period when the market was anxiously awaiting the launch of the "Kepler" family of GPUs. GPU sales were down 6.9 per cent sequentially, which indicates that pent-up demand for Kepler-based machines is waning a bit.

The ups and downs of the GPU and Tegra CPU/GPU businesses at Nvidia

The ups and downs of the GPU and Tegra CPU/GPU businesses at Nvidia

The sequential compare is a tough one because Nvidia shipped a very large number of Kepler-based Tesla GPU coprocessors in the fall for the Titan ceepie-geepie supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Blue Waters machine at the University of Illinois.

Nvidia CFO Karen Burns said that Tesla GPU sales did in fact fall quarter-on-quarter for this reason. Tesla GPU coprocessor sales were up year-on-year in the fourth fiscal quarter, however, which is a good sign of the progress of hybrid supercomputing.

Burns added that part of the problem in GPU sales' sequential decline was that the channel returned to its normal run-rate for desktop GPUs after a big pull in the fiscal third quarter that ended last October. The good news was that notebook GPU sales were up slightly year-on-year, thanks in large part to design wins Nvidia got many months ago for pairing with Intel's "Ivy Bridge" Core processors.

For the full year, the GPU business was up 2 per cent to $3.25bn, and if you take out the $173.1m in chipset revenue declines in fiscal 2013 compared to fiscal 2013, then sales at the GPU group were actually up 8 percent.

On the processor front, Tegra CPU sales were down sequentially thanks to lower revenues for Tegra 3 chips ahead of the launch of Tegra 4 processors, which Nvidia cofounder and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said were ramping in production now for an official launch in the second quarter.

The Tegra 4 chips made their debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in early January, and include a quad-core Cortex-A15 chip with a fifth Cortex training wheel for low-power computing as well as a 72-core custom GPU.

Nvidia said on a conference call with reporters and analysts that the Tegra 4 has more design wins than the Tegra 3 did, and that the company would ship its Tegra 4–based Shield gaming platform in the second quarter, as well.

Huang is calm, at least publicly, despite being at the helm of a company that is in the cutthroat CPU and GPU markets – and one of the reasons why is simple. Nvidia exited the quarter with $3.73bn in cash and equivalents, a pile that just keeps growing, and the company has no debts. The number of companies that have nearly a year's worth of revenue in the bank is not high, and it gives Nvidia both patience and maneuvering room – so long as Wall Street doesn't start demanding that Nvidia distribute it to shareholders.

Tegra CPU/GPU sales were up 29.3 per cent for the year to $764.5m, and in the final quarter of the fiscal year brought in $208.4m, which was an 89.8 per cent bump compared to the year-ago period. However, that Q4 level was 14.6 per cent lower than in Q3 – not unexpected, given the impending Tegra 4. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.