One tiny country accounted for 15% of NVIDIA's revenue – why does it need so many chips?

by alex

In the third quarter, the company's revenue reached $18.12 billion, which is 206% more than last year, with Singapore adding a significant portion to this amount.

The country accounted for 15% or $2.7 billion of NVIDIA's revenue, according to documents
US Securities and Exchange Commission. In total, revenue from Singapore jumped 404.1% in the third quarter from $562 million last year, doubling the chipmaker's overall revenue growth.

In NVIDIA's third-quarter sales ranking, Singapore trailed only the United States (34.77%), Taiwan (23.91%) and China, including Hong Kong (22.24%).

“I believe this is due to the fact that Singapore has quite a lot of data centers and cloud service providers,” Maybank Securities analyst Jarik Seet told CNBC. “The chips could also be sent there to be assembled with other products and then shipped to other countries.”

They can also be used for artificial intelligence, computing and electric vehicles, Seet added.

“What is a tiny city-state doing with all these chips? Building data centers, of course!” wrote Sang Shin, who previously worked as director of digital innovation at Temasek and head of digital strategy and architecture at GIC. “The country is stable and secure, has plenty of talent and a robust digital infrastructure, and government policies promote digital and data services.”

The Commission's filing also shows that 80% of NVIDIA's sales in the third quarter came from the data center segment, with the rest coming from gaming, professional visualization, the automotive industry, and others.

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“Cloud service providers accounted for approximately half of data center revenue, while consumer internet and enterprise companies accounted for approximately the other half,” NVIDIA said in a statement.

In January 2022, Singapore lifted a moratorium that had been imposed three years ago that had temporarily halted the release of land for data center use. In July, the country awarded rights to develop new data center projects to Equinix, Microsoft, Chinese data center solutions provider GDS, and AirTrunk and ByteDance.

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As of January 2022, there were over 70 operational data centers in Singapore. The city-state still accounts for 60% of total data center capacity in Southeast Asia.

Singapore is ranked third in the world and first in the Asia-Pacific region in terms of data center market rankings.

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“Demand for data centers in Singapore will remain strong due to the rapid growth of digital applications, e-commerce, Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, crypto trading, blockchain, online gaming, etc. The shift to hybrid work and digitalization of business has also contributed to demand for data center space,” the US International Trade Administration said in a report.

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