Nvidia (NVDA) says Ethereum mining activity contributed very little to its Q4 2020 revenue.
Although it lacks "the ability to accurately track or quantify” the end uses of its graphic processing units (GPUs), Nvidia CFO Colette Kress said the company estimates that between $100 million and $300 million – a "relatively small portion" – of Q4 revenue came from Ethereum miners buying GPUs to use in their mining equipment.
Nvidia reported a total of $5 billion in revenue for the Q4, implying mining sales represented 2%-6% of the total.
Ethereum’s hash rate has grown 124% in the past year, according to data from Coin Metrics, in tandem with the general cryptocurrency market’s rally. This has driven demand for Nvidia's GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, much to the dismay of the company's gaming customers.
Nvidia said earlier this week it's altering its GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card to limit its own efficiency if the card detects it's being used for Ethereum mining, a move designed to ensure GPU supply is available to gamers. “We would like GPUs to end up with gamers,” Kress said on the company’s earnings call Wednesday.
In the future, though, miner-contributed revenue for Nvidia is likely to come from another of the company's products. To serve the mining community, the company is launching Cryptocurrency Mining Processors (CMPs), which are “optimized to improve Ethereum mining” and will give the company “more visibility” into the share of revenue contributed by cryptocurrency miners, Kress said.
Nvidia plans to sell its new CMPs to industrial Ethereum miners and expects the mining-specific product to generate roughly $50 million in revenue during its first quarter of sales. Nvidia also plans to quantify miner revenue contributions in all future quarterly earnings reports.
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