NVIDIA Announces Q4 2017 Results

Subject: Editorial | February 9, 2017 - 06:59 PM |
Tagged: TSMC, Samsung, Results, quadro, Q4, nvidia, Intel, geforce, Drive PX2, amd, 2017, 2016

It is most definitely quarterly reports time for our favorite tech firms.  NVIDIA’s is unique with their fiscal vs. calendar year as compared to how AMD and Intel report.  This has to do when NVIDIA had their first public offering and set the fiscal quarters ahead quite a few months from the actual calendar.  So when NVIDIA announces Q4 2017, it is actually reflecting the Q4 period in 2016.  Clear as mud?

Semantics aside, NVIDIA had a record quarter.  Gross revenue was an impressive $2.173 billion US.  This is up slightly more than $700 million from the previous Q4.  NVIDIA has shown amazing growth during this time attributed to several factors.  Net income (GAAP) is at $655 million.  This again is a tremendous amount of profit for a company that came in just over $2 billion in revenue.  We can compare this to AMD’s results two weeks ago that hit $1.11 billion in revenue and a loss of $51 million for the quarter.  Consider that AMD provides CPUs, chipsets, and GPUs to the market and is the #2 x86 manufacturer in the world.

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The yearly results were just as impressive.  FY 2017 featured record revenue and net income.  Revenue was $6.91 billion as compare to FY 2016 at $5 billion.  Net income for the year was $1.666 billion with comparison to $614 million for FY 2016.  The growth for the entire year is astounding, and certainly the company had not seen an expansion like this since the early 2000s.

The core strength of the company continues to be gaming.  Gaming GPUs and products provided $1.348 billion in revenue by themselves.  Since the manufacturing industry was unable to provide a usable 20 nm planar product for large, complex ASICs companies such as NVIDIA and AMD were forced to innovate in design to create new products with greater feature sets and performance, all the while still using the same 28 nm process as previous products.  Typically process shrinks accounted for the majority of improvements (more transistors packed into a smaller area with corresponding switching speed increases).  Many users kept cards that were several years old due to there not being a huge impetus to upgrade.  With the arrival of the 14 nm and 16 nm processes from Samsung and TSMC respectively, users suddenly had a very significant reason to upgrade.  NVIDIA was able to address the entire market from high to low with their latest GTX 10x0 series of products.  AMD on the other hand only had new products that hit the midrange and budget markets.

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The next biggest area for NVIDIA is that of the datacenter.  This has seen tremendous growth as compared to the other markets (except of course gaming) that NVIDIA covers.  It has gone from around $97 million in Q4 2016 up to $296 million this last quarter.  Tripling revenue in any one area is rare.  Gaming “only” about doubled during this same time period.  Deep learning and AI are two areas that required this type of compute power and NVIDIA was able to deliver a comprehensive software stack, as well as strategic partnerships that provided turnkey solutions for end users.

After datacenter we still have the visualization market based on the Quadro products.  This area has not seen the dramatic growth as other aspects of the company, but it remains a solid foundation and a good money maker for the firm.  The Quadro products continue to be improved upon and software support grows.

One area that promises to really explode in the next three to four years is the automotive sector.  The Drive PX2 system is being integrated into a variety of cars and NVIDIA is focused on providing a solid and feature packed solution for manufacturers.  Auto-pilot and “co-pilot” modes will become more and more important in upcoming models and should reach wide availability by 2020, if not a little sooner.  NVIDIA is working with some of the biggest names in the industry from both automakers and parts suppliers.  BMW should release a fully automated driving system later this year with their i8 series.  Audi also has higher end cars in the works that will utilize NVIDIA hardware and fully automated operation.  If NVIDIA continues to expand here, eventually it could become as significant a source of income as gaming is today.

There was one bit of bad news from the company.  Their OEM & IP division has seen several drops over the past several quarters.  NVIDIA announced that the IP licensing to Intel would be discontinued this quarter and would not be renewed.  We know that AMD has entered into an agreement with Intel to provide graphics IP to the company in future parts and to cover Intel in potential licensing litigation.  This was a fair amount of money per quarter for NVIDIA, but their other divisions more than made up for the loss of this particular income.

NVIDIA certainly seems to be hitting on all cylinders and is growing into markets that previously were unavailable as of five to ten years ago.  They are spreading out their financial base so as to avoid boom and bust cycles of any one industry.  Next quarter NVIDIA expects revenue to be down seasonally into the $1.9 billion range.  Even though that number is down, it would still represent the 3rd highest quarterly revenue.

Source: NVIDIA

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February 9, 2017 | 07:09 PM - Posted by vidvox (not verified)

any indication of how the Tegra buisness is doing specifically?

February 9, 2017 | 07:15 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

Tegra apparently has increased revenue over the past year.  They obviously are no longer in phones, but Shield is doing OK.

February 9, 2017 | 07:29 PM - Posted by remc86007

They've got Nintendo over a barrel buying their tegra parts from 3 years ago; so I'd say they are doing just fine haha

February 9, 2017 | 07:32 PM - Posted by Tim Verry

haha true ;). 

February 10, 2017 | 09:55 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Generally its the other way around: Console chips have low margins, and those margins contractually shrink over time at pre-set intervals (meaning it is up to the chip producer to make their production process cheaper over time, or they will likely end up selling at a loss).

Console sales are a guaranteed income stream, but not a guaranteed profit stream.

February 10, 2017 | 12:03 PM - Posted by JohnGR

Console sales also guaranty that your architecture becomes the architecture of choice, for game developers, as we have seen those last years, with developers abandoning Nvidia, as the developing platform, to go with GCN. So, selling SOCs at a loss, is not so bad after all.

February 9, 2017 | 08:23 PM - Posted by Massacre (not verified)

"There was one bit of bad news from the company. Their OEM & IP division has seen several drops over the past several quarters. NVIDIA announced that the IP licensing to Intel would be discontinued this quarter and would not be renewed. We know that AMD has entered into an agreement with Intel to provide graphics IP to the company in future parts and to cover Intel in potential licensing litigation. This was a fair amount of money per quarter for NVIDIA, but their other divisions more than made up for the loss of this particular income."

1) I haven't yet found a transcript of the conference call, but I believe that Nvidia is not assuming continued revenue from Intel in their forward guidance. That's not the same thing is saying that they will not renew.

2) I believe that the AMD deal is still rumor, although it's looking more and more likely, given the fact that Nvidia is not assuming licensing revenue.

3) Are you saying that Nvidia's other divisions WILL make up for this loss, or that they already made up for the loss in Q4? Because the licensing agreement hasn't expired yet, so losing licensing revenue would not show up in their Q4 results.

February 9, 2017 | 09:19 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The rumored/Intel AMD deal is nothing more than the licensing of some very basic GPU IP that Intel already has been using in its GPU products all along and It's just that both Nvidia and AMD both have license to relatively the same basic IP that Intel needs to license in order for Intel’s GPU's to remain legal. So where once Intel was made legal by using the licensed basic GPU IP from Nvidia Intel can still remain legal by licensing the same basic GPU IP from AMD to continue to keep Intel's brand of integrated GPUs legal for sale without Intel getting into legal troubles in the GPU market.

Both AMD and Nvidia have license to the same overly broad sorts of GPU IP so blame in on the USTPO but Intel needs to have its legal GPU licensing ducks in order for Intel to be able to continue to sale SOC’s with Intel graphics. It’s almost impossible to build GPUs without AMD’s OR Nvidia’s permission and GPU IP licensing.

None of this necessary basic GPU licensing from either AMD or Nvidia involves any of AMD’s or Nvidia’s really important GPU IP so Intel is not getting any keys to the GPU IP city from AMD or Nvidia. Intel needs a basic GPU IP license from either AMD or Nvidia to remain legal and that is all.

Now wait for the following business quarters after the server/workstation Zen SKUs hit the market and even the following business quarters for consumer Ryzen and consumer and professional Vega. Then wait for AMD's professional APUs on an interposer products and the same for consumer APUs on an interposer variants. AMD's HPC market professional APUs on an interposer HPC variants will not be constrained to only using Zen's FP units as the Pro APUs on an Interposer will have a big fat Vega GPU die on the same interposer as the Zen CCX units and HBM2. Vega will give AMD's professional APUs built on an interposer vastly more FP ability than any CPU only regular Xeon HPC variants.

February 9, 2017 | 09:22 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)


February 9, 2017 | 10:38 PM - Posted by marcotony (not verified)

Having the knowledge on their GPU architecture is so valuable for Intel. It sounds like Intel wants to study both, could be to better their iGPU and on the while for all this time trying to find a way around the licensing. What is better way than to have knowledge on both.

February 9, 2017 | 11:17 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Intel is not getting a look at any of Nvidia's or AMD's actual GPU IP, that GPU/graphics design that Intel developed by itself for itself needs to have some of its IP licensed as Intel could not build a modern GPU without infringing of an AMD or Nvidia patent. Did you not carefully read the post that you replied to, Intel designed its own graphics but it is impossible to design a modern GPU without licensing IP from AMD or Nvidia for such things as unified shaders and other basic GPU IP functionality that both AMD and Nvidia have the IP rights to.

So Intel in designing its own GPUs needs to license parts of the Basic GPU IP held by either AMD or Nvidia. Intel is not getting any look see at any of Nvidia’s or AMD’s GPU engineering plans Intel is only getting the rights to design its own GPU that make use of some of the basic PATENTED GPU design outlines that both AMD and Nvidia have the patent portfolios for!

One can design their own GPU from scratch, but then that design has to be vetted by the patent engineers and patent lawyers to see if the design infringes on any patents that others may have. Most likely Intel found out very early in the process that it had to have some form of IP license from either Nvidia or AMD(ATI at the time of Intel’s GPU project), as those two companies represent the largest block of the basic GPU/IP patents in existence. Intel will never get to look at any Nvidia or AMD engineering blueprints for actual working GPUs, what makes you think that is the case.

February 10, 2017 | 12:24 AM - Posted by Tim Verry

Yeah, basically AMD and NVIDIA both have huge patent portfolios for GPUs and while they could go after each other for various things, they each have enough ammo that doing so would just lead to MAD so they don't. Intel does not have that luxury so in order to continue developing it's iGPUs and stay in the market they need at least one of those two on its side. Rumors being what they are NVIDIA's licening deal is expiring this year and Intel is going to go with AMD instead (probably cheaper heh) which will benefit both companies (IP for Intel, revenue stream for AMD). Note that I don't have any insider or NDA info on this so I can theorize all I want :) heh. I'll admit that I was and am still a bit skeptical about the Intel / AMD on package GPU rumor at first but I'm coming around to the idea. We'll see though.

February 10, 2017 | 07:56 AM - Posted by jayden2002 (not verified)

All we have are the two gladiators fighting and a half-fed lion just lying on the side? ;P

Is it not even remotely possible for a new player entering this GPU arena? Does Intel care about balancing the power of the two? Wouldn't it be better to cripple AMD because then their CPU would dominate the market?

February 10, 2017 | 11:50 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The only way to cripple AMD or Nvidia is by competition because they have Intel on double secret probation because of its past infractions of fair market practices. In the GPU arena Intel lacks the IP portfolio to be able to whip up its own GPU competition to AMD or Nvidia because Intel lacks the GPU IP of its own to do so legally.

AMD's Zen CPUs are not going to dominate the HPC market alone if you consider the Zen micro-arch lacks the same CPU based FP power as Intel's Kaby Lake micro-architecture. AMD decided that it would go with a smaller Zen CPU core for space/power savings and to instead focus on using its Vega GPU’s powerhouse FP crunching abilities instead for the HPC markets. So AMD can get by with the current Zen FP deficiency in the HPC market because just look towards Nvidia’s success with using its GPUs in the HPC market.

It’s a more logical choice on the part of AMD to pair Zen with Vega and go double in with both Zen and Vega for the HPC and AI(AMD Radeon Instinct line of AI GPUs) markets. Add to that AMDs future APUs on an interposer Products that combine a Zen core complexs die with a fat Vega die and HBM2 on an interposer and that’s an entirely new class of APU for the Workstation/Server/HPC markets.

You really need to read that Semiaccurate article on AMD's Infinity Fabric and AMD’s move to use its Infinity Fabric on all of AMD’s future CPU and GPU/other processor products. The article stated/implied that maybe the Infinity Fabric’s level of coherency/granularity would maybe allow for some very interesting dispatch of floating point and other work dispatch directly from a CPU to GPU/other Processors with no main memory/video memory stops in between.

Intel is working its FPGA IP into some new HPC competition with AMD and Nvidia but Intel is not the only FPGA(Intel acquired Altera) maker. But for SOC graphics Intel is dependent on a license from either Nvidia or AMD for the licensing that will continue to make Intel’s graphics legal to sale. Intel also has the OpenPower Power9’s in the hand of any Power9 licensees like Google to worry about! And it’s not just Nvidia’s GPUs that will be interfacing with the Power9s on the market via Nvidia’s proprietary NVLink interconnect IP as there will be IBM OpenCAPI consortium.

AMD is along with IBM/Others a founding member of OpenCAPI so AMD will have its Vega GPU SKUs interfacing with any OpenPower power9 licensees CPU products that will be able to do so via the OpenCAPI interconnect IP. IBM created the CAPI(Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface) and opened the CAPI IP up for licensing under the new OpenCAPI(New more powerful version of CAPI) standard.

February 10, 2017 | 12:28 PM - Posted by JohnGR

@ jayden2002

AMD is not a threat to Intel. Nvidia is. AMD supports the x86 platform, something crucial for Intel's future. On the other hand Nvidia supports the ARM platform. Consider this. In 5 years Nvidia is far ahead of AMD and decides to launch a new hi end gaming platform based on the ARM platform. Bye bye X86. We will(not?) miss you.

February 10, 2017 | 04:04 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

What about AMD's K12(Custom ARMv8A Running Micro-Arch) and does Nvidia have the time to take that RISC ARMv8A ISA and create an updated Denver(V3) micro-arch more in line with somthing like the RISC Power/Power9 ISA extra wide order superscalar Micro-Arch designs with both SMT4 and SMT8 power9 variants from OpenPower.

No one CPU maker is a large threat to Intel Individually at this time but as a competing market the Power9(HPC/server market), Vega paired with Zen(HPC/server/workstation market)/HPC Zen/Vega APUs, as well as ARM/with new SVE( Scalable Vector Extentions) for the HPC market will combine to take HPC market share away from Intel. Fujitsu's ARM-powered Post-K supercomputer will be using the ARMv8A ISA with SVE extentions for that Japanese exascale system.

Intel will have AMD'a Zen x86 at AMD's price/performance pricing latitude to compete with shortly and Zen will be packaged priced with Vega to give Zen and alternative source of FP TFlops assist to make for some attractive HPC offerings, including Zen/Vega/HBM2 HPC APUs. Nvidia has its GPUs paird with Power9s over Nvlink and AMD will be able to pair Vega with Power9s via the OpenCAPI IP.

Intel will be getting vastly more competition this time around than Intel has ever had before from not only AMD's x86 and K12(ARM) but the OpenPower licensees(Google/others) and from the ARM players who make use of the ARMv8A ISA with SVE and that custom market's many ARM/HPC players.

And Yes the x86 ISA is not the only game in town and there will also be the RISC-V open source ISA to contend with that Nvidia is already using for some controller(Nvidia Falcon) usage in its products. Nvidia could very well opt to get a power9 license from OpenPower and compete in the HPC market the same way that AMD will be doing with Zen/Vega.

February 11, 2017 | 08:54 AM - Posted by JohnGR

AMD hasn't done there much. No mass production of K12, no news about working on the last ARM cores, no news about working on custom cores, no news about integrating GCN with ARM cores, no socket that can take both x86 and ARM processors.

So, whatever AMD was doing back then could be just a thought, a plan B in case Ryzen ends up bad, a signal to Intel to behave. Saying to Intel that it could end up with NO hi end GPU makers for the x86 platform, it is the biggest threat there is. Considering that Nvidia wants to stub Intel in the back from the time Intel throw them out of the chipset market and refuse to give them an x86 license, if Intel was losing the Radeon cards on the x86 platform, it could mean game over.

I am waiting for over 3 years Nvidia to start creating desktop systems with ARM based CPUs and top Geforce cards. Ironically, AMD's Mantle, that was the base for Vulkan, opened them the road. Nvidia doesn't really needs Denver. With many heavy tasks being able to run on modern GPUs, the CPUs doesn't need to have top IPC. Remove Radeon from the equation and Nvidia can force the gaming and VR market to abandon the x86 platform and go whatever it wishes.

February 11, 2017 | 12:43 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Jim Keller's K12 team completed K12's design but AMD is currently focusing on Zen/Ryzen/Vega and this does not mean that AMD has no plans for K12 once Zen/Vega based products start producing the revenues to allow AMD to catch its breath.

That project Skybridge cancellation for the x86 Die or Arm Die dual use socketed motherboard has no bearing on the custom ARMv8A ISA running K12 micro-arch as AMD currently has some Opteron/Seattle SKUs based ARM(reference design ARM A57 Cores not K12 custom cores) Opteron/ARM based server products that have single use ARM only motherboards and those customers will want K12 based updates offered in the future. AMD has a 5-10 year on average support commitment for any of its server SKUs for those server customers. So AMD will most likely be looking to continue with that customer base on K12 once the Zen/Vega server variants and the Ryzen/Vega consumer variants are to market.

And more importantly AMD has its ARMv8A ISA based OS/software ecosystem ducks in order due to its current line of Opteron/Seattle ARM reference A57 based server products being to market for some time now. So AMD only needs to get the custom ARMv8A running K12 hardware completed and fully certified for a quick replacement with minor OS/Software tweaks of the already to market Seattle A57 based server variants that also run the ARMv8A ISA.

As far a AMD having no K12 based APUs with AMD graphics for the server market that does not matter right now as Vega/earlier GPU accelerators can be used on Opteron/Seattle based and future K12 based server systems as the Opteron/Seattle server motherboards support PCIe connected devices including GPUs.

Even the first Zen/Naples CPU only server/HPC variants will make use of the Vega/older GPU accelerator variants as AMD’s Server/HPC/Workstation APUs on an Interposer SKUs are not going to arrive before the Zen/Naples CPU only server variants. So Vega GPU accelerators on a PCIe connection will be used until the pro APU SKUs arrive and even afterwords depending on the customer’s exact needs for both x86 and ARM based server SKUs, APU based or CPU only based with PCIe connected GPU accelerator/s.

February 10, 2017 | 12:22 PM - Posted by JohnGR

@ Tim Verry

Going AMD is not just cheaper. Intel is not exactly a company that counts dollars to see if it has enough for a coffee. Intel will go AMD because they both have a common goal. The survival of the x86 platform. Intel will go AMD because they know each other for decades, and while they will happily stub each other, they will not kill each other. On the other hand, if Nvidia gets much bigger in 10 years from now, it will annihilate both. On the other hand, and just to keep it simple, AMD wants to give GCN chips to Intel, even if that means less APU sales, because it will mean that the GCN architecture will become the de facto graphics architecture in about everything except phones and tablets. So it will lose some APU sales, but every tech it creates(FreeSync X for example) will immediately become the standard in PCs.

February 10, 2017 | 04:18 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"Intel is not exactly a company that counts dollars"

Intel will be counting those dollars now with all of Intel's corporate fat costs(Stocks/bonus/cash/benefits/etc.) and those very costlly to maintain chips Fab plants that cost billions to maintain and bleed cash if they are not producing product 24/7 365 at as close to 100% production capacity as possible. The competative pricing pressure from Zen and Power9 will see Intel tapping those cash reserves like a fratboy taps into a beer keg at rush time. Intel's high margin days are numbered and some cash reserves and dividend payments will have to suffer along with the Intel's fat pricing structure!

February 11, 2017 | 09:01 AM - Posted by JohnGR

Intel will start making 3D Xpoint memory in many of it's fabs. They don't really have a problem, and with all those billions of dollars income, a few extra bonuses will go unnoticed. They will get extra cash in the future from AI and autonomous cars, so not problem there either. New markets are booming to keep everyone happy, that's why Nvidia's stock is rising, AMD's stock is rising, but Intel's stock is NOT falling. There are plenty of pies to fill everyone's stomach and pockets and more pies are coming.

February 11, 2017 | 01:20 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

No mention of Micron's QuantX brand of XPoint competition and your rose colored glasses/rising tides lift all boats analysis is not going to hold true for Intel with the added across the board product market competition that will see Intel in a complete state of metaphysical angst with regards to keeping those famous Intel high margin prices that Abdul Jabbar could not even reach with a Skyhook!

Intel’s stock prices are not going up and the pressure from massive amounts of competition across all of Intel’s high margin markets will be at historic levels. Just look at the 8-14+ billion dollars wasted on Contra Revenue/mobile markets and Intel’s success in the mobile markets has not happened. Intel was/is not doing so well in mobile market even up to the time that Intel folded its mobile division into a larger Intel division to hide the mobile losses on the 10-K statements.

New markets are booming and those tides are rising but Intel's mad margins profit boat has sprung a leak in the face of a storm of competition with rough seas ahead and the bilge pump is broken on the SS Chipzilla.

February 11, 2017 | 02:52 PM - Posted by JohnGR

"Colored glasses". I see.
I thought this was a dialog, but now looks more like a monologue.

February 11, 2017 | 05:46 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That's rose colored glasses, Floyd! And that Intel Monopoly is going to get its comeuppances in the CPU markets! No amount of spin about any Fab 42 out of mothballs investment in going to do any good for Intel's pricing structure with the Zen, Power9, and ARM competition forcing Intel's sky high margins to head south and shaving billions off of Chipzilla's balance sheets. That 7 billion dollars investment was originally planed a few years back and then put on extended hiatus. So it's not so welcome news to many as the other fab complexes around where fab 42's empty shell sits have been getting layoffs.

Your Metaphysical Angst is up there also along with Intel's and those mad markup margins are history in very short order. And Intel has some Atom QA/QC Bombing problems on its hands that will tax revenue streams into the future in addition to the downward spiral of those historical high Intel margins on its line of CPU SKUs. All the while with Krzanich at the wheel of the SS Chipzilla whistling his happy mouse tune to the Stockholders on board while the dance band plays on.

Hey Captain Krzanich those margins are sinking a little closer to towards sea-level and this boat is listing to the right a little bit and still there are no sounds of any bilge pumps running.

No Orange life preserver is going to help in the face of such fierce waves of competition.

February 12, 2017 | 08:10 AM - Posted by JohnGR

I only came here to see the new episode of this comedy.
Simple question, out of curiosity. You do realize that "AMD Sempron" is NOT an Intel product. Right? I mean... it's obvious, right?

February 12, 2017 | 12:28 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Who cares about only AMD's x86 Zen/Ryzen competition driving down Intel's high margin pricing! It's IBM and all those OpenPower Power9 licensees(Google/others) using power9s and Nvidia GPUs over NVLink or AMD GPUs over OpenCAPI. There will even be ARM HPC competition using OpenCAPI or PCIe connected GPUs as anyone can use PCIe based GPUs to link up with Zen, Power9 or ARM server/HPC systems.

The beauty of all this comedy is that funny part of the Hysterical Historical Intel sky high highway robbery markups that will have to come down for Intel to make sales and that will eat into Intel's revenues something awful! Sure Intel will make more Optane on its chip fabrication lines because it will have to keep those lines producing some revenues to pay for that astronomical upkeep on those pricy to maintain chip fabrication physical plant facilities. But even in the XPoint/Optane business Intel will have some XPoint/QuantX competition forcing Intel to keep pricing lower than if there where no competition at all in the XPoint market. Even after its acquisition of Altera, Intel does not control all the FPGA business as that market has competition also.

The Funny part is just about to begin for Intel and all that Intel corporate bloat will have to be trimmed down to maintain those expected dividends for the stockholders who expect more from Intel because, you know, it’s Intel. Oh will those mad cap Intel margins have to drop in the face of the many competitors that will be producing products at a much better price/performance metric. Let the Intel Stock shorting begin, in short order!

With great confidence I think that most consumers will find Intel’s pricing pains comical and the consumer will be very happy about the suggested retail pricing for CPU/SOC/APU SKUs in a few more weeks and after! ditto for the Server/Workstation/HPC Professional SKU users in a short while also! Intel’s pricing pains are everybody else’s happy gains.

February 9, 2017 | 11:21 PM - Posted by Massacre (not verified)

I believe that you're saying, but that wasn't my point. The licensing revenue is significant, whether or not Intel is actually taking advantage of any "really important GPU IP."

The revenue is enough to have serious implications for AMD and Nvidia revenue and, in turn, price per share. My concern that reporting it as a done deal is not true (as far as I'm aware, it's still rumor), so this article is misleading (unless irrefutable information out there that I haven't come across).

February 9, 2017 | 11:22 PM - Posted by Massacre (not verified)

I meant to say that I believe WHAT you're saying.

February 10, 2017 | 12:25 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Not compared to the revenues that Zen/Ryzen will produce and not compared to the revenues that Vega(Radeon Pro WX and consumer variants) will produce. That basic IP licensing revenue stream is not that large and will not keep AMD in business. Just wait until the AMD APUs on an interposer variants for the consumer and professional HPC/Server/Workstation market start shipping. AMD does not plan to make Zen compete with Xeon in the FP contest as AMD has instead chose to make the Zen cores smaller and use its GPU/Vega IP to overcome any FP deficiencies that Zen will have against Intel's Xeon in the HPC market!

AMD will be selling Zen/Naples CPU SKUs to the server/workstations market and adding in its Vega(Radeon Pro WX) SKUs to accelerate any FP workloads where the Zen cores have a competitive disadvantage to Intel’s Xeon cores in total FP performance. AMD will be going with more and smaller Zen first generation cores paired with Vega GPUs to capture a share of the HPC market where Xeon still leads! And AMD will be pairing the smaller Zen cores on an Interposer with a fat Vega die and HBM2 to create professional grade APUs on an interposer that will make use of the Vega GPU’s NCU shader cores to do the FP heavy lifting.

The professional grade APU on an interposer SKUs from AMD will represent a class all of their own in a design that combines a Zen core complexes die with a Fat Vega GPU Die and the HBM2 die stacks. And the APU’s CPU to GPU on interposer fabric will have plenty of raw effective bandwidth that can not be matched by Nvlink or any other off package CPU to GPU communication IP.

February 10, 2017 | 12:34 AM - Posted by Massacre (not verified)

Once again, none of that is relevant to the points that I was making in my initial post. I was questioning the accuracy of the article. The revenue IS significant, even if it's smaller than revenue that they may receive from other sources. Intel paid Nvidia $1.5 billion over six years (http://investor.nvidia.com/secfiling.cfm?filingid=1193125-11-5134&cik=10...). Investors will respond to the outcome of a future licensing agreement, so the facts are important.

February 10, 2017 | 01:26 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

1.5 billion spread out over 6 years is not a lot of money these days for any technology company. A single building in the average large city can cost that. A typical skyscraper costs anything between half a billion to 1.5 billion USD! Sure it's good to have the extra revenue but licensing is not in AMD's or Nvidia's business models as a significant impetus for either company, it does help but it does not pay all the bills!

February 10, 2017 | 01:46 AM - Posted by Massacre (not verified)

1) Did you even read the article or what I actually have stated in my posts? I AM CHALLENGING THE ACCURACY OF THE ARTICLE.

2) Tell shareholders that $1.5 billion isn't a lot of money, considering that AMD's price per share was under $2 early last year, in part due to bankruptcy concerns. Their total debt at the end of 2015 Q4 was "just" $2.26 billion. Total debt is down to $1.44 billion, a change of "just" $820 million (that's barely enough for a skyscraper!), but the market has reacted favorably. There are certainly many other reasons that the pps has increase so much since it bottomed out in early 2016, but reducing debt was a major factor.

February 10, 2017 | 12:11 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

After Zen and Vega hit the market, and AMD's APUs on an interposer are out, expect that AMD's market CAP will be a lot higher as will its Revenues and stock price. AMD is back big time with Zen/Vega and AMD is a very lean organization so expect those debts to disappear and AMD’s cash reserves to get very large. AMD's debt burden relative to the size of its assets will begin to improve immediately even without any Debt payments due. The folks that got in on AMD at under 2 dollars and invested say 1 million dollars stand to be a whole lot richer and may just be able to afford a house in Palo Alto after that 1 million dollar initial investment doubles and triples.

P.S. 1 million dollars will not even get you a residential real estate agent’s attention in Palo Alto! And Alto is the word for housing prices in that part of the golden bear state.

February 10, 2017 | 12:15 PM - Posted by JohnGR

@ Massacre

Some leaked roadmaps showing Intel Coffee Lake series, at the graphics section they mention "Kaby Lake graphics", either Gen9 or Gen9.5.

If those roadmaps came from Intel sources, then even Intel is considering more probable that their licensing deal with Nvidia will not continue. And Intel is a huge company. If they wanted to continue that deal, they would have renew it by now so they not have to stop their integrated graphics development.

That last one, the fact that they are pausing their integrated graphics development - IF we assume those roadmaps are true - make no sense for a huge company like Intel, EXCEPT, IF we assume that they are killing their integrated graphics development and go with an external solution, like an AMD GPU next to the CPU cores(the latest rumors from hardocp, in other words), or an Nvidia one. But giving more money to Nvidia is like throwing oil on a fire under their feet.

February 10, 2017 | 06:42 PM - Posted by Massacre (not verified)

I agree with you 100%. However, it's important to distinguish between what's highly likely to happen from something that is definitely going to happen. Right now, since no agreement has been officially declared, the licensing agreement is just in highly likely to happen status.

February 10, 2017 | 12:21 PM - Posted by Josh Walrath

I seem to remember during the conference call that they explicity said, "will not be renewed".  I didn't record it, but I did write it down when they said that.

February 10, 2017 | 06:55 PM - Posted by Massacre (not verified)


"Our GAAP and non-GAAP gross margins are expected to be 59.5% and 59.7%, respectively, plus or minus 50 basis points. This guidance assumes that our licensing agreement with Intel ends at March, and does not renew. GAAP operating expenses are expected to be approximately $603 million. Non-GAAP operating expenses are expected to be approximately $520 million."

The guidance assumes that the deal expires and does not continue, but that doesn't 100% mean that it will not continue, and it certainly does not 100% mean that Intel has struck a deal with AMD.

That beings said, I personally believe that it's extremely likely that the deal with Nvidia will expire, and that it's extremely likely that Intel has struck a deal with AMD. However, I just don't think that we can state with absolute certainty that it will play out that way.

February 10, 2017 | 03:48 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

We need some competition, they were selling us their Big Chip for ~$500(GTX 580), a Pascal chip that same size will set you back $1,200(Titan XP). A chip the size of the 1080(GTX 560) used to cost ~$200.

Don't get me wrong Pascal performance is fantastic and they should be able to charge what people are willing to pay, but some competition would be nice for consumers who remember the good old days.

February 12, 2017 | 04:37 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

GPU prices are keep rising higher and higher as are nvidia's profits.

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