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An independent analyst has confirmed that Nvidia Corp., a leading supplier of graphics and multimedia chips, has shipped hundreds of thousands Fermi-generation graphics processors. According to Jon Peddie, the head of Jon Peddie Research, Nvidia so far has shipped 400 thousand Fermi-generation chips.

“My estimate is Nvidia has shipped over 400 thousand [Fermi processors] as Tesla and Gefore units. The shipment numbers ‘to date’. Nvidia shipped a lot to OEMs, loads of Tesla versions since the announcement in Boston in March,” said Jon Peddie in a conversation with X-bit labs.

Earlier high-ranking Nvidia executives said that the company had shipped hundreds of thousands Fermi-class graphics processors. At present those chips are all based on the code-named GF100 (NV60, GT300) design, which is so complex that many analyst estimated that the yields of such chips was between 20% and 30%. Nvidia claims that its yields were higher than expected.

“Yields of our high-end, Fermi-based GPUs were much higher than expected, leading to good availability of our new GeForce GTX 480 and 470 GPUs and Tesla high-performance computing products,” said David White, chief financial officer of Nvidia, during the latest quarterly conference call with analysts.

Analyst Jon Peddie claims that the problems with yields are over for Nvidia. It has to be noted that in order to achieve those yields, Nvidia had to cut down the number of GF100’s stream processors from 512 to 480 on GeForce GTX 480 graphics board and to 448 on GeForce GTX 470 and Tesla C2050 add-in-cards.

“I think most of Nvidia's problems are behind and they are back on track. You will see a whole slew of derivative products in the next few months,” said Mr. Peddie.

Even though Nvidia celebrates the vast amount of Fermi-class graphics chips shipped, many questions regarding business side of the achievement remain. The GF100 – in both GeForce and Tesla versions – is by any definition a premium product, which drives up revenues, profits and margins. Nevertheless, it does not look that Fermi was actually a breakthrough for the company’s business.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2011 Nvidia posted 2% quarter-over-quarter revenue growth as well as 0.9% gross margin growth. The company recorded net income of $137.6 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, for the Q1 FY2011, compared to $131.1 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, in the Q4 FY2010. The company indicated that during the first quarter if fiscal 2011 the GPU business was flat, Quadro business was on the rise (there are no Fermi-based Quadro at the moment) and Tesla business achieved record revenue.

As it can be observed, despite of shipping around 400 thousand premium GF100 graphics processors, the company did not see any tangible improvements either in profitability or margins. Obviously, Nvidia is losing chipset market share rapidly and throughout the whole Q1 FY2011 it probably has been losing share on the market of discrete graphics processors. As a result, the GF100 chip as well as increasing sales of high-margin Nvidia Quadro solutions helped Nvidia to offset declines in the core-logic and GPU businesses in terms of revenue, however, it does not look like the company managed to earn a lot more than in the previous quarter.

Tags: Nvidia, Geforce, Tesla, Fermi, GF100, NV60, 40nm


Comments currently: 19
Discussion started: 05/14/10 11:17:23 AM
Latest comment: 05/18/10 03:57:39 AM
Expand all threads | Collapse all threads


The yealds are so good that they release a super cutdown card from the GF100. Just 352 cores and 256bit bus from the same 3bilion transistor chip. Good for them it seems.
0 0 [Posted by: Zool  | Date: 05/14/10 11:17:23 AM]

Fermi is dead and rotting now for several weeks or more...

Your article is confusing. "Fermi Architecture" was replaced by "GeForce 4xx GTX Architecture". What is the message, more
0 0 [Posted by: y eye  | Date: 05/14/10 11:30:11 AM]

NVIDIA certainly beat AMD here. AMD took almost 3 months to ship 300,000 Radeon 58x0 cards (plus 500,000 Radeon 57x0 cards). NVIDIA already sold 400,000 of its high end cards after one month. Either NVIDIA's yields are much better than what AMD had or NVIDIA stockpiled enough to meet initial demand. Either way, well done.
0 0 [Posted by: ET3D  | Date: 05/14/10 01:55:47 PM]
- collapse thread

SHIPPED...not SOLD. There is a difference.
0 0 [Posted by: JonMCC33  | Date: 05/14/10 04:46:05 PM]
lol fanboy, so 800k 57-5800 series cards vs 400k cards

lol , just say you love nvidia , that would of been enough
0 0 [Posted by: matthmaroo  | Date: 05/15/10 05:45:14 PM]
they didn't say nvidia shipped "400,000 of its high end cards"

the article is about "Fermi-generation chips", which includes GF104 and GF108

my guess is that GF108 is shipping, and the mix is something like 360,000 G420 cards, plus 25,000 GTX460 cards, plus 15,000 GTX470/480 cards
0 0 [Posted by: NormanBates  | Date: 05/17/10 01:59:32 AM]

Something seems wrong here. If Nvidia did have such a large shipment of Fermi based chips, how come there is very little impact on Steam Hardware Survey page? With more than 25 million users, Steam is very representative about market share. If there are approx. 7 million DX11 GPUs in the world, and nvidia has 1.1% of that share, that's not 400K cards. Sure, not everyone with nvidia card has a steam account, but it doesn't diminish the survey and it's representativeness.
0 0 [Posted by: FLA  | Date: 05/14/10 04:40:51 PM]

It is important that NVIDIA, the company that always act as the major and NO.1 graphic chips leader in the world of PC's (sometimes MAC!) absolutely was not lead for several months.
Plus the FirePRO lineup of ATi now is much better than before with a very good price for CAD designers against Quadro series of NVIDIA... .
0 0 [Posted by: Pouria  | Date: 05/14/10 09:42:58 PM]

Jon Peddie's estimate is probably correct but the article is quite misleading in saying that
"Nvidia had to cut down the number of GF100’s stream processors from 512 to 480 on GeForce GTX 480 graphics board and to 448 on GeForce GTX 470 and Tesla C2050 add-in-cards."
when describing yields of a manufacturing process. I believe Fermi class processors are still manufactured with all 512 SPs and yields for that high number of them aren't even close to estimates for shipped parts. To improve yields, Nvidia "disables" non-functioning parts in a process that's known as "binning". There's where those 4 different products out of 1 same design come from and that's entirely different thing as how the article reads, suggesting TSMC are more capable of bringing higher yields on a troubled node than they actually are. This is not the case! Also, this is industry-wide estimate and probably won't affect street prices of these parts, which is what we're most interested in. Most will "disappear" within OEM channels and that won't bring prices down. As it stands, Fermi class GPUs (call them as you will) are still way overpriced and ATI continue to have better "bang-for-a-buck" performing products on market. Power draw and noise of these products will eventually run street prices down as more owners get too frustrated gaming in a loud environment, paying huge electricity bills whenever they turn their gaming rig on, but that won't happen that fast. Never underestimate the need of people to brag and glow they have more money than sense! I give you Apple as a darn good proof of that!
0 0 [Posted by: MyK  | Date: 05/15/10 06:14:00 AM]
- collapse thread

The chip itself indisputably has 512 stream processors. Some of them seem to be disabled by business reasons.

There is an interesting thing that David White (CFO) said during the conference call:

"[When] launched Fermi, those wafer starts were done some time ago at
a time when margins weren't as good as what they actually ended up
being. So our margin progression ended up exceeding our expectations.
As a result of exceeding expectations, we ended up having more die
available to sell."

Did the yields actually exceed expectations because of TSMC process technology improvements (which means that Nvidia hoped to obtain N chips and probably signed contracts to supply certain amounts to its partners, but eventually it got N + X), or because the company at some point decided to
cut-down the spec of the GF100 processor (which increased the number of chips + improved profit margins), or the increased yields are a combination of both actually?
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/16/10 04:50:38 AM]
Well one would hope development is a continuous process, so I'd concur - both. Regardless, yields don't seem to be high enough to cause price drops and that's what we all should be hoping happens as soon as possible; no matter what camp's products one is after, it should prove beneficial to all of us if there's a real competition not a battle of paper cuts between them. I want them to fight in blood and gore for my wallet's attention!
0 0 [Posted by: MyK  | Date: 05/16/10 06:19:47 AM]

Bad yield shipments to a landfill probably make up most of this figure.
0 0 [Posted by: Divide Overflow  | Date: 05/15/10 11:44:27 AM]
- collapse thread

Fortunately, no company can ship an unworkable product
0 0 [Posted by:  | Date: 05/16/10 04:53:13 AM]
Seagate did it.
0 0 [Posted by: JonMCC33  | Date: 05/16/10 01:00:54 PM]

I thought that NVidia had started shipping the cut down derivitave with 1/8th the number of GPU units. These would be "Fermi-class graphics processors" to software, but not to performance.
0 0 [Posted by: Brett  | Date: 05/15/10 01:10:06 PM]
- collapse thread


my guess is that all this fuss means they shipped more than 360,000 GF108 chips, for G420 cards

big deal
0 0 [Posted by: NormanBates  | Date: 05/17/10 02:01:21 AM]

Why are ATI fanboys so defensive...does it feel bad to be on that red team that you need to attack Nvidia users so often...really if it is that lame then just jump to the other band.
0 0 [Posted by: shaolin95  | Date: 05/17/10 09:44:09 AM]
- collapse thread

I was forced... to take a red pill this morning.
Good day shaolin95,
"Why are ATI fanboys so defensive"... no it does not feel bad. It is what nVidia users demand as response. It is all part of the ego ejaculation, the attention rip-off, the lonely at the bottom of dispair response that so often reminds us of the Borg Queen and Hitler.

Your name implies a Bot with the 95. Could you reply and what about shalin?
0 0 [Posted by: y eye  | Date: 05/17/10 10:16:14 AM]
your case may be different, but I don't like it when people lie to me

and these numers are so spun off that I consider them lies
0 0 [Posted by: NormanBates  | Date: 05/18/10 03:57:39 AM]


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