Nvidia Rising: CEO Huang Gives Shout-Out to Machine Learning, and Street Cheers
Shares of graphics chip titan Nvidia (NVDA) are up $1.95, over 3%, at $61.65, after the company yesterday afternoon comfortably beat Q2 revenue and earnings expectation, and forecast this quarter’s revenue higher as well, pointing to success with recently introduced graphic cards.The stock is up $2.58 (4.32%) at $62.28.
CEO Jen-Hsun Huang was kind enough to spend a few minutes talking with me by phone following the company’s conference call with analysts.
Said Huang, “I want to give a shout out for deep learning. I think that you know this very well, this new computing approach is producing results that are really quite spectacular. Adoption across the world is greater and faster than any of us could have hoped.”
I asked how much deep learning, the catch-phrase for use of massive clusters of GPUs to teach computers new skills, was responsible for the company beating its own forecast for revenue.
Said Huang, “One way to think of it is, data center has been choppy or flat the last couple years, but this quarter, it grew 110% and, high-performance computing was stable, so the rest was deep learning.”
“So it contributed a lot of our growth. Among our growth drivers, deep learning is number one, and then Pascal across the board,” referring to the company’s recently introduced “Pascal” architecture that has found its way immediately into new graphics cards for gaming and is going into many other chip offerings.
I asked Huang about concerns raised on the call about other sorts of chip platforms possibly taking away some business. For example, I venture, Intel (INTC) this week announced the acquisition of Nervana Systems, an artificial intelligence startup. My own perspective in talking with Nervana is that they are using Nvidia GPUs right now, but they have a plant to at some point move to their own chip architecture.
Said Huang, “I can imagine other architectures existing, but we’re not sitting on our laurels here. We have architected across the entire stack, and we have deep learning experts, I don’t know anyone who has that across the board. The number of engineers we have working on computers is second to none. We have more expertise in parallel computing than any company in the world. Our ability to invest is quite significant....MORE