Gamers are still Nvidia’s masters, but Ether miners could change that
Gaming hardware giant Nvidia has addressed the ongoing shortage of its new RTX 3000 product line after high demand from gamers, and to a lesser extent, cryptocurrency miners, pushed up prices and cut availability.
Nvidia chief financial officer Colette Kress said the company didn’t have good visibility into how much demand came solely from cryptocurrency miners, but she doesn’t believe it’s a big part of the business at this time.
That’s despite reports of some Ether (ETH) miners constructing rigs comprised of 78 of Nvidia’s Geforce RTX 3080 graphics cards, estimated to net their owner profits of $122,000 per year.
Kress did suggest that any future spikes in demand from miners could present a good opportunity to restart the company’s CMP product line. CMP refers to a range of Nvidia graphics cards created specifically for cryptocurrency mining, which ship without the display outputs unnecessary for the task in question.
Speaking at the 19th Annual J.P. Morgan Tech/Auto Forum Conference on Jan. 12 via Seeking Alpha, Kress told an audience of investors that should the firm observe any demand from would-be miners, they would consider manufacturing more mining-specific graphics cards.
“So, in summary, if crypto demand begins or if we see a meaningful amount, we can also use that opportunity to restart the CMP product line to address ongoing mining demand,” said Kress.
The chief financial officer believes the majority of demand still comes from a primarily gaming-focused user base, adding that gaming demand alone outpaced the company’s supply capacity.
Kress said cryptocurrency mining was one of the many unique applications resulting from the programmable nature of Nvidia’s cards, and one that had helped drive market growth in the past:
“Yes. So, cryptocurrency is interesting. So GPUs, as you know, have been programmable for many, many years, and it allows a constantly discovering capability for new applications to use the overall GPUs, and that has driven our overall growth in the market. Cryptocurrency mining is one of those such applications.”
According to Kress, Nvidia’s supply capacity would remain diminished until at least the start of Q2, and revenues are expected to remain flat until that time.