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NVIDIA’s GTC Conference: AI Titans Clash as Google Looms

Stavros Tousios | Wednesday 20 March 2024

Nvidia (NVDA) fell during the widely anticipated GPU Technology Conference (GTC) on Tuesday, March 19. 

However, the stock reversed losses amid general optimism ahead of an FOMC meeting. The event is not expected to hold any surprises. 

As a result, major indices received a boost. In particular, the S&P (S&P 500) rose 0.56%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (USA 30) saw an upside of 0.83%, and the Nasdaq (US-TECH 100) gained 0.39%. 

The announcements made at the GTC conference showed that Nvidia is leading the AI chip market, leaving behind competitors like AMD (AMD) and Intel (INTC)

Nonetheless, several analysts point to competition from Google's (GOOG) Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) chips as posing a threat in the long term. Apple (AAPL) is also considering partnering with Google to utilise its artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities for an upcoming iPhone feature named Gemini.  

At the time of writing on Wednesday, Nvidia is seen rising while Dow Jones futures are falling ahead of the Fed's interest rate decision. Still, market participants will keep a very close eye on the event for clues on the Fed's interest rate path. 

AI chips

NVDA Asserts Dominance in the AI Chip Market

Nvidia kicked off their yearly GTC Conference in San Jose on March 18, expected to conclude on the 21st. Over 300 companies attended, with speakers from the biggest AI and tech companies like OpenAI, Meta (META), and Microsoft (MSFT) present. (Source: Yahoo Finance)

GTC focused on Nvidia's AI and accelerated computing work, as the company  announced several products, including:

  • Grace CPU Superchip for AI workloads.

  • Hopper GPU architecture with up to 80 billion transistors.  

  • BlueField-3 DPU to accelerate data centre workloads.

  • OVX software to optimise AI model performance.

The company's CEO, Jensen Huang, also said they are working on healthcare AI, self-driving cars, robotics, and other exciting projects.

Among the innovative announcements, Nvidia revealed its new Blackwell platform, featuring the "world's most powerful chip." 

The platform combines two chips, offering speeds of 10 Tbps, which is expected to boost the performance of AI models like GPT-3. The new Blackwell GPUs B100 and B200 will have a price tag 40% higher than the prior GPU versions at $35K. 

Another noteworthy product was the Inference Microservices (NIM). This new tech aims to reduce the work needed to integrate and deploy generative AI applications, enabling faster rates from proof of concept (POC) to production.

AWS, Microsoft, Google Cloud, and Oracle (ORCL) have already expressed interest in the GPUs and NIM when released in late 2024.

Why NVDA Initially Dipped at the GTC Conference

Despite the notable announcements, Nvidia's stock was seen declining on Tuesday, described as a "classic sell the news reaction."

However, it was quick to reverse in the green, closing 1% higher after the CEO revealed pricing and shipment plans. Several analysts considered the event to reinforce Nvidia's AI leadership and believe the new products will drive stronger growth. Nvidia The company has already delivered strong Q4 2023 earnings, with both revenue and earnings beating estimates. However, one challenge remains; limited chip supply.

Nvidia's promising roadmap keeps analysts optimistic about the company's long-term prospects as well. Many bullish analysts cite the company's leading position, with Truist Financial (TFC) and HSBC (HSBA-L) having already raised price targets due to stronger expected demand for 2024 and 2025.

AI Rivalry Heats Up with Potential Apple-Google Partnership

Although Google and Nvidia have strengthened their ties recently, this does not stop Google and Apple from discussing a potential partnership that sees Google's AI model Gemini integrated into iPhones. 

Despite Apple lagging in introducing AI capabilities compared to competitors like Microsoft and Samsung, it has been building up its own AI team. It recently acquired the Canadian AI company DarwinAI to enhance its AI technology for visual inspection in manufacturing. 

Nevertheless, it still lags behind in AI and ML research. So, partnering with Google could help Apple establish a better competitive position. At least the market sees this as a positive development. Both Apple and Google shares rallied on the news. 

Regardless, it might take a while for more information to come to light. Apple is expected to share more details at their Worldwide Developers Conference in June.

Conclusion

Nvidia's GTC has influenced the stock market due to new product announcements in the company's approach to AI and related technologies. 

Meanwhile, competitive actions from other tech giants, like the potential partnership between Apple and Google, can also sway the market's direction. However, on the broader economic front, the upcoming FOMC will likely be a pivotal event for investor sentiment. 

By keeping an eye on markets, investors can gain a more nuanced understanding of market movements and inform a more strategic approach to balancing short-term reactions and long-term impact.


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