NVIDIA Profits Soar Year-Over-Year On Record Data Center Revenue Ahead Of Ampere Launch

NVIDIA Jensen Huang
NVIDIA built a thriving company on a mountain of graphics processing units (GPUs) mostly aimed at gamers, but its focus has since expanded into other segments. Notably, NVIDIA is coming off a record high in quarterly data center revenue—it reached $1.14 billion during the first quarter of its fiscal 2021, which is up 18 percent sequentially and a whopping 80 percent year-over-year.

It is the first time NVIDIA's data center division hit the $1 billion mark for a quarter. Equally impressive, NVIDIA managed the feat both in light of COVID-19, which is disrupting businesses across the globe, and without the benefit of Ampere, it's next-generation GPU that only became official last week.

"NVIDIA had an excellent quarter. The acquisition of Mellanox expands our cloud and data center opportunity. We raised the bar for AI computing with the launch and shipment of our Ampere GPU. And our digital GTC conference attracted a record number of developers, highlighting the accelerating adoption of NVIDIA GPU computing," NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang said.

To be clear, gaming is still NVIDIA's biggest product segment, though maybe not for long. NVIDIA's first quarter gaming revenue slid 10 percent sequentially to $1.34 billion while gaining 27 percent compared to the same quarter a year ago.

This also occurred without the benefit of Ampere. NVIDIA is expected to launch a new line of graphics cards based on Ampere later this year (maybe in September, if recent rumors are true), and depending on the price-to-performance ratio, it could extend the division's lead over the data center. Or they could swap places—there is just no way of knowing at this stage.

Either way, NVIDIA finds itself in excellent shape. Overall, it generated $3.08 billion in revenue during the first quarter, which is a slight 1 percent decline from last quarter, but up 39 percent from a year ago. The strong overall performance landed positively with investors, with NVIDIA's share price up more than 2.5 percent in early morning trading.