Nvidia released its earnings for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 this week, showing better-than-expected results, driven by sales of its graphics processing unit (GPU) chips. The firm reported graphics segment revenue of $2.79 billion for the quarter, beating analyst estimates of $2.1 billion.
Within the graphics segment also falls the gaming division. Nvidia said that its new line of graphics cards based on a new technology called Ampere drew strong interest from computer and videogame console developers. For example, one of the new models, the Geforce RTX 3080, went on sale in September and sold out immediately.
Nvidia said gaming revenue climbed 37% year-on-year to $2.27 billion, a record for the company.
The graphics processing units produced by Nvidia are mainly used in video game consoles and graphics cards but they have also become popular with cryptocurrency miners, particularly those extracting coins like ethereum (ETH), monero (XMR), and zcash (ZEC).
For the quarter in review, Nvidia sold at least $175 million worth of new generation GPUs to ethereum miners, helping the outperformance, according to a note from RBC Capital Markets analyst Mitch Steves. The analyst had guided sales to miners to come in at $150 million for the quarter.
Steves noted that the upcoming network upgrade of the Ethereum blockchain, also known as Ethereum 2.0, which is scheduled to take place sometime in December, demands that miners switch over to more efficient mining hardware. Nvidia’s new Ampere GPU chips are thought to meet that need.
However, GPUs are no longer effective for mining bitcoin (BTC), which has moved on to more efficient application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miners.
Overall, Nvidia reported revenue of $4.73 billion for the quarter, up 57% from a year earlier. Analysts expected revenues of $4.41 billion. The company revealed that it continues to face supply bottlenecks for its chips and cards in the fiscal fourth quarter, which ends in January.
It also said its acquisition of British chip designer ARM from Japanese conglomerate Softbank is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2022.
Shares of Nvidia fell 0.92% to $532.65 in Nasdaq stock market trading on Friday. Over the past 52 weeks, the stock has reached a high of $589.07 and a low of $180.68.
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