Nvidia Does Not Expect Competitors to Capture Professional Market Share

Nvidia's Chief Executive Does Not See ATI FirePro as Viable Competitor

by Anton Shilov
08/12/2010 | 11:24 PM

The head of Nvidia Corp. does not believe that competing ATI FirePro family of graphics cards can represent a threat for Nvidia's Quadro lineup and win a substantial piece of the market.


"[Professional graphics] is an area where we have a great deal of passion for and one, in which we do an extremely good job. So, the bar is pretty high and we are not seeing any significant competitive changes out there that we notice right now," said Jen-Hsun Huang, chief executive officer of Nvidia, during the most recent conference call with financial analysts.

Nvidia Quadro is indisputably one of the most known brand on the market of professional graphics. For years competing solutions from ATI, graphics business unit of Advanced Micro Devices) have either lacked certain features or simply had issues with software or performance.  But with the launch of the latest FirePro V8800 the situation improved seriously as the solution got both design wins as well as certifications from plenty of software vendors. Still, Jen-Hsun Huang, the chief executive officer of Nvidia, is not convinced that ATI can actually capture a serious share of the professional graphics accelerators market.

A reason why Jen-Hsun Huang is so confident of the Quadro lineup is because the new Fermi-based breed offers tangible geometry performance improvements over predecessors as well as over competing solutions. Based on SPECviewperf 11 benchmark results, Nvidia Quadro 5000 outperforms ATI FirePro V8800 solution by 30% - 100%. Another reason is because along with Quadro the Santa Clara, California-based company ships plenty of special-purpose tools for various workloads, which greatly simplify and speed up work of not only graphics, but also medical imaging and other professionals.

"The workstation market is not about a graphics chip, it is not about a graphics card, and this is something that the vast majority of our competition just no longer understands. People are not buying our Quadro solution a chip at a time. They are trying to solve a problem. It could be that they are trying to ray-trace a car, so that they could see a photorealistic image of it while they are trading off various designs. It could be that the data set is just absolutely enormous and they need to have the scalability and the scalable solutions that we provide," explained Mr. Huang.

In Q2 of its fiscal 2011 Nvidia's professional solutions revenues increased to $215.1 million thanks to increase in sales of Tesla compute accelerators and Quadro professional graphics accelerator. At present Nvidia commands over 80% of the professional graphics cards market, according to brief estimates.