by Anton Shilov
05/13/2010 | 03:11 PM
Chief executive officer of Nvidia Corp. said that the company has already shipped hundreds of thousands graphics processing units (GPUs) that belong to the latest Fermi family of chips. The comment is more than surprising, considering the facts that production of the appropriate GPUs seems to have been hampered by poor yields and currently available Fermi processors are pretty expensive.
"With our new Fermi-class GPUs in full production, Nvidia's key profit drivers are fully engaged. We shipped a few hundred thousand Fermi processors into strong consumer demand. Our Quadro business for workstations grew strongly, fueled by pent up demand from enterprise customers and new growth markets like video editing. And we had record revenue from Tesla processors for high-end servers,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, chief executive officer of Nvidia, during the latest quarterly conference call with financial analysts.
Previously many analysts indicated very poor yields of Nvidia code-named GF100 (NV60, G300) graphics processor. Some claimed that the yields – the amount of functional chips from a single wafer – were between 20% and 30%. Nevertheless, Nvidia has launched GeForce GTX 480 and 470 graphics cards for consumers along with Tesla C2050 computing board for advanced high-performance computing servers. Still, even the rather expensive graphics and computing boards sport cut-down GF100 chip. All-in-all, it is a huge surprise that Nvidia claims to have shipped hundreds of thousands Fermi chips.
Nvidia on Thursday reported revenue of $1.0 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 ended May 2, 2010, up 2 percent from the prior quarter and up 51 percent from $664.2 million in the same period a year earlier.On a GAAP basis, the company recorded net income of $137.6 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, for the first quarter of fiscal 2011. That compares with $131.1 million, or $0.23 per diluted share, in the previous quarter and a net loss of $201.3 million, or $0.37 per share, in the same period a year earlier.
Despite of the fact that Nvidia has shipped hundreds of thousands of expensive Fermi-based solutions for graphics or computing and sales of high-end Quadro graphics cards for professionals grew strongly, the company’s gross margin increased marginally to 45.6% for the first quarter fiscal 2011 from 44.7% in the previous quarter and 28.6% in the same period a year earlier.