NVIDIA has posted results for its third quarter of 2012 that it credited to the rise of smartphones and tablets using the Tegra 2. Revenue for the quarter was $1.07 billion, up 4.9 percent from the prior quarter, and grew 26.3 percent over $843.9 million recorded in the same period last year. The Consumer Products group, which includes the Tegra 2 chips, saw its revenue grow 14 percent over just the spring alone.
The results exceeded Wall Street's expectations, and the chipmaker's stock rose over five percent after the news.
Revenues from NVIDIA's original business, graphics chips for PCs, grew by only one percent over the previous quarter. Much of the slow growth can be attributed to the drop in sales of PCs in the US and Europe. For NVIDIA and PC makers, this was more than offset by increased demand in China and developing countries.
A bright spot in NVIDIA's performance outside of mobile was a 9.5 percent revenue growth in its Professional Solutions operation, which is responsible for the Quadro and Tesla graphics chips used in workstations.
Highlights for the third quarter included seeing three more Tegra-based phones to the eight already available, and 13 new tablets, bringing the total to 23. Nvidia also announced that its Tesla processors will be used by Oak Ridge National Laboratory in its Titan supercomputer, which is expected to be the world's fastest supercomputer, with the potential to deliver speeds of over 20 petaflops when operational. Titan will carry 18,000 Nvidia Tesla processors to accelerate deep math.
The company was partly hopeful for the fall with the launch of the Tegra 3, a quad-core processor for smartphones and tablets.
In its discussion of results, however, NVIDIA did warn that the outlook for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, which spills into January 2012, isn't as promising. Both revenues and gross margins are expected to be flat when compared to the just-ended quarter, suggesting either that partners or holding off or that it expects a sales drop.