Cryptocurrencies have pulled one of Nvidia’s most sluggish businesses out of the gutter

Let’s all just take a deep breathe.
Let’s all just take a deep breathe.
Image: AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying
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As 747s ship AMD processors to cryptocurrency mines around the world, Nvidia numbers are also flying high.

The company’s OEM sector, one of its smallest revenue streams, saw 54% revenue gains year-over-year, up nearly $100 million. Nvidia credited the jump to demand for its dedicated processing board and traditional graphics cards, which miners rushed out to buy as the price of Ethereum and other cyptocurrencies rose.

“Cryptocurrency and blockchain are here to stay,” Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang. “The only thing we can probably expect is that there will be more currencies to come…We have the ability to rock n’ roll with this market as it goes.”

Meanwhile, datacenter growth is starting to level off, indicating that Nvidia is beginning to hit the peak of its dominance in supplying computing power for AI and deep learning across the industry. Even though Google is and others are trying to develop their own AI hardware, they haven’t delivered new products to the mass market. Use of Google’s Tensor Processing Unit can be rented on its cloud servers, however.

Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang isn’t fazed by the prospects of new entrants into the AI hardware ecosystem, saying that GPUs will be still needed in datacenters as social media pushes more towards video.

“You have to perform AI on instantly so you can avoid inappropriate video being streamed to large audiences,” Huang said, then mentioning Google’s hardware by name. “A GPU is basically a TPU that does a lot more.”