The CIA knows a lot about other nations’ space programs. You can too with its new ‘World Factbook’ update

The CIA wants to share what it knows about world space programs. Some of what it knows, anyway.

The United States Central Intelligence Agency, better known as the CIA, has released a new entry in its World Factbook that catalogues the programs and milestones of space agencies around the world. Over 90 countries and the European Union are represented in the new Space Programs section of the agency’s factbook, spanning from Algeria to Zimbabwe.

A CIA spokesperson told that, due to the increased visibility of space programs around the world, there is a need for the agency to provide “sound, reliable background information” for use by students of all ages, journalists, academics or anyone else looking for a “deep dive into a country and its space program.” 

Related: CIA about UFOs of the 1950s and ’60s: ‘It was us’

The Space Programs factbook includes how much each nation spends on its space program, based on available spending estimates and budget information. The resource also includes brief listings on individual countries’ key activities, both historical and current. 

All of the information in the new factbook section is unclassified and publicly available, and has been gathered together from open sources. Still, it might be surprising to some readers to learn which nations do, in fact, have a space program, the CIA spokesperson added. Nicaragua, for example, a country not commonly associated with spaceflight, pledged to spend over $250 million on a communications satellite with Chinese funding in 2013, according to the factbook.

The new Space Programs section is the first new appendix added to the CIA World Factbook since 2021. Its addition coincides with the 80th anniversary of the factbook’s predecessor publication.

The agency’s spokesperson said the CIA’s Space Programs appendix is a “living document” that is expected to be updated weekly, but the agency hopes to be able to include more frequent updates in the future. 

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via Space

August 28, 2023 at 05:08PM

Exploring Japan’s Compact Charm: Micro-Living in a $40 a Night Appartment in Osaka

During his visit to Japan, Youtuber Cash Jordan opted for a novel experience – a 90 square feet micro-apartment in Osaka, rented at $40 per night. While not the smallest he’s encountered, it marked his inaugural stay in such tight quarters. The apartment was thoughtfully furnished, offering all the essential comforts. Its prime location in the bustling heart of Osaka meant easy access to arcades, shops, and a variety of restaurants, making it the perfect spot for an adventure-packed stay!

Later, Jordan transitioned to a slightly larger micro apartment spanning 120 square feet, which came at a price of $60 per night. He found this unit to be a potential solution to housing challenges in the US, provided such units could meet legal requirements.

[Via LS]

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via [Geeks Are Sexy] Technology News

August 29, 2023 at 12:21PM

The Weird, Big-Money World of Cybercrime Writing Contests

Cybercriminals can be inventive—especially if there’s money on the table. One hacker has penned a 50-page essay on how to invest in cryptocurrency and sell at the right time to make a profit. Another put together a guide for how to create a fake version of that could be used to steal people’s usernames and passwords. And another produced instructions—cryptically titled “Elegantly breed daddies on lavender”—explaining how to scam money from people who pay to watch webcam models perform.

The unusual collection of documents and tutorials were all produced by cybercriminals and hackers trying to win money for their ideas, technical skills, and writing ability. Once they finish their articles, they submit them to be judged in competitions on Russian-language cybercrime forums. These contests, which can pay out thousands of dollars, are one of the forums’ more peculiar aspects.

For more than a decade, Russian-language cybercrime forums—which largely exist for trading stolen data, touting new security vulnerabilities, and connecting criminals—have run contests allowing their members to make some extra cash and gain some kudos in the process. A new analysis by cybersecurity firm Sophos is shedding some light on how these contests run and how they’ve rapidly grown in size in the last few years. For those entering, there’s the potential of a decent payday: $80,000 USD was the total prize pot in one recent contest.

“You can tell some people put a lot of work into these,” says Christopher Budd, director of threat research at Sophos X-Ops. “Sometimes what people present isn’t necessarily the newest or most original stuff. But it’s stuff that is interesting or in some way has appeal to the audience.”

In the analysis, Sophos researcher Matt Wixey examined the most recent contests on the cybercrime forums Exploit and XSS. The forums’ administrators announce the contests and ask people to submit written articles. While the entries are most often in Russian, Budd says, sometimes forum members will translate them into English to be “a good community member.”

The most recent competition on XSS was held between March and July 2022. There was a general prize pot of $40,000—up from $15,000 the previous year. The Sophos analysis says the contest was general, with forum members being asked to submit entries on around half a dozen topics. Malware development, methods for dodging antivirus and security products, ways of hiding malicious code, and social engineering techniques were all included in the list.

Meanwhile, Exploit’s last contest offered more prize money—$80,000 in total—but was more specific, asking for entries on cryptocurrency attacks, thefts, and vulnerabilities in April 2021. One sub-genre of the theme was “security of working with cryptocurrencies, except for banal things.”

“It’s another way that the criminal world is mirroring and adapting and adopting best practices from the legitimate side of the business,” says Budd. He compares some of the processes and entries as akin to those of legitimate cybersecurity research conferences and events, such as Black Hat, Defcon, and Pwn2Own. Unlike cybersecurity researchers who find issues to make products and services more secure before sharing their research for others to learn from, the criminals are producing the work with malicious intent.

via Wired Top Stories

August 29, 2023 at 07:15AM

It Costs Just $400 to Build an AI Disinformation Machine

In May, Sputnik International, a state-owned Russian media outlet, posted a series of tweets lambasting US foreign policy and attacking the Biden administration. Each prompted a curt but well-crafted rebuttal from an account called CounterCloud, sometimes including a link to a relevant news or opinion article. It generated similar responses to tweets by the Russian embassy and Chinese news outlets criticizing the US.

Russian criticism of the US is far from unusual, but CounterCloud’s material pushing back was: The tweets, the articles, and even the journalists and news sites were crafted entirely by artificial intelligence algorithms, according to the person behind the project, who goes by the name Nea Paw and says it is designed to highlight the danger of mass-produced AI disinformation. Paw did not post the CounterCloud tweets and articles publicly but provided them to WIRED and also produced a video outlining the project.

Paw claims to be a cybersecurity professional who prefers anonymity because some people may believe the project to be irresponsible. The CounterCloud campaign pushing back on Russian messaging was created using OpenAI’s text generation technology, like that behind ChatGPT, and other easily accessible AI tools for generating photographs and illustrations, Paw says, for a total cost of about $400.

Paw says the project shows that widely available generative AI tools make it much easier to create sophisticated information campaigns pushing state-backed propaganda.

“I don’t think there is a silver bullet for this, much in the same way there is no silver bullet for phishing attacks, spam, or social engineering,” Paw says in an email. Mitigations are possible, such as educating users to be watchful for manipulative AI-generated content, making generative AI systems try to block misuse, or equipping browsers with AI-detection tools. “But I think none of these things are really elegant or cheap or particularly effective,” Paw says.

In recent years, disinformation researchers have warned that AI language models could be used to craft highly personalized propaganda campaigns, and to power social media accounts that interact with users in sophisticated ways.

Renee DiResta, technical research manager for the Stanford Internet Observatory, which tracks information campaigns, says the articles and journalist profiles generated as part of the CounterCloud project are fairly convincing.

“In addition to government actors, social media management agencies and mercenaries who offer influence operations services will no doubt pick up these tools and incorporate them into their workflows,” DiResta says. Getting fake content widely distributed and shared is challenging, but this can be done by paying influential users to share it, she adds.

Some evidence of AI-powered online disinformation campaigns has surfaced already. Academic researchers recently uncovered a crude, crypto-pushing botnet apparently powered by ChatGPT. The team said the discovery suggests that the AI behind the chatbot is likely already being used for more sophisticated information campaigns.

Legitimate political campaigns have also turned to using AI ahead of the 2024 US presidential election. In April, the Republican National Committee produced a video attacking Joe Biden that included fake, AI-generated images. And in June, a social media account associated with Ron Desantis included AI-generated images in a video meant to discredit Donald Trump. The Federal Election Commission has said it may limit the use of deepfakes in political ads.

via Wired Top Stories

August 29, 2023 at 07:09AM

Scientists discover strange ‘singularities’ responsible for exotic type of superconductivity

Physicists have uncovered a mysterious mechanism responsible for high-temperature superconductivity, and it could help in the search for one of the “holy grails” of physics.

The new finding, known as oscillating superconductivity, identifies a process that enables materials to superconduct at much higher temperatures than normal — paving the way for the discovery of room-temperature superconductor materials that could facilitate the near-lossless transmission of energy. The researchers published their findings July 11 in the journal Physical Review Letters.

“One of the holy grails of physics is room-temperature superconductivity that is practical enough for everyday-living applications,” Luiz Santos, an assistant professor of physics at Emory University, said in a statement. “That breakthrough could change the shape of civilization.”

Related: Novel superconducting magnet thrusters to be tested out on space station

Superconductivity emerges from the ripples caused by electrons as they move through a material. At low enough temperatures, these ripples cause atomic nuclei to become drawn to each other, in turn causing a slight offset in charge that attracts a second electron to the first. 

The force of this attraction causes something strange to happen: Instead of repelling each other through the force of electrostatic repulsion, the electrons get bound together into a “Cooper pair.”

Cooper pairs follow different quantum mechanical rules than those of lonesome electrons. Instead of stacking onto each other to form energy shells, they act like particles of light, an infinite number of which can occupy the same point in space at the same time. If enough of these Cooper pairs are created throughout a material, they become a superfluid, flowing without any loss of energy from electrical resistivity.

The first superconductors, discovered by Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes in 1911, transitioned into this zero electrical resistivity state at unimaginably cold temperatures — near absolute zero (minus 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 273.15 degrees Celsius). Yet, in 1986, physicists found another type of material, called a cuprate, which becomes a superconductor at a much warmer (but still very cold) minus 211 F (minus 135 C). 

Physicists hoped this discovery would lead to the finding of room-temperature superconductors, which would open the door to the near-lossless transmission of electricity. Yet the discoveries petered out, and recent claims of room-temperature superconductors have ended in scandal and disappointment

Until now, the failure to find room-temperature, ambient-pressure superconductors has partly stemmed from a lack of understanding among physicists of the theoretical conditions that permit electrons to form Cooper pairs at relatively high temperatures (roughly three times as low as a standard freezer’s temperature). 

To investigate this, the researchers behind the new study focused on a particular form of high-temperature superconductivity that emerges when Cooper pairs arrange into oscillating patterns known as charge density waves. The relationship between the waves, a kind of mass synchronized dance between paired electrons across a material, has a complex connection to superconductivity: In some circumstances, the waves drown out the effect, while in others, they aid in gluing electrons together. 

By modeling these waves, the physicists found that the key to the waves’ emergence was likely a property known as a van Hove singularity. Usually, in physics, the energy of a moving particle is, rather intuitively, related to the speed at which it’s traveling.

But some material structures break this rule, enabling electrons with different speeds to exist at the same energies. When all of the electrons’ energies are equal, they can interact and pair up to form dancing Cooper pairs more readily.

“We discovered that structures known as Van Hove singularities can produce modulating, oscillating states of superconductivity,” Santos said. “Our work provides a new theoretical framework for understanding the emergence of this behavior, a phenomenon that is not well understood.”

The physicists stressed that, so far, their work is purely theoretical, meaning that more experimental efforts will be needed to flesh out the underlying mechanism. However, they hope that by establishing a foundation between van Hove singularities and dancing waves, they have found a connection that other physicists can build upon.

“I doubt that Kamerlingh Onnes was thinking about levitation or particle accelerators when he discovered superconductivity,” Santos said. “But everything we learn about the world has potential applications.”

via Space

August 28, 2023 at 03:35PM

How Gene-Edited Insects Are Providing Food, Fuel and Waste Disposal

Insects have been making commercial inroads as feed for poultry, fish, pigs, cattle and even pet food, though, for now, it remains a niche product. Biotech tools, however, are allowing breeders to ramp up insect production, and with new investment, their approach is gaining traction.

In the last several years, companies producing black soldier flies (BSF, or Hermetia illucens) and mealworms (Tenebrio molitor) have raised forged ahead, paving the way for insect products to reach European and Asian markets. Insect factories are expanding, and some companies are applying gene editing to improve protein quality and speed up hatching and growth. If the momentum continues to build, the insect protein market is forecast to grow $1.14 billion by 2027.

In Israel, a consortium of insect-based animal feed companies backed by the Israel Innovation Authority was set up in January, bringing them together with researchers using machine learning and fly genomics to optimize and scale up BSF production and the insects’ nutritional profile. The companies — Entoprotech, FreezeM, Ambar, Shachar, NRGene, NeoManna, BugEra and Rafael Feed Mills — are joined by academic researchers from five academic institutes, all of whom are editing genes in the fly genome sequence to enhance breeding.

Part of the consortium is FreezeM, based in Nachshonim. The startup was set up by three Weizmann Institute of Technology doctoral graduates, who developed a technology that induces neonatal larvae into suspended animation to extend shelf life for shipment purposes. It is a “paused larvae” stage obtained through environmental conditions, says Yuval Gilad, FreezeM co-founder and CEO, and just as with hibernation, it is reversible.

FreezeM has also turned to CRISPR–Cas9 to improve the nutritional content of BSF strains. The company has deployed 400 CRISPR–Cas9 guide RNAs to target about 150 genes that control metabolism, which yielded strains with bigger larvae, a longer larval period and increased resilience under stress.

One of the genes they’ve edited is a key regulator of molting from larva to pupa, which, when tweaked, yields larvae 50 percent larger than an unedited one. Other genes worth targeting would be those controlling chitin, the hard polysaccharide that makes up insects’ exoskeleton. A reduction in chitin would prove valuable for optimizing aquaculture feed, says Idan Alyagor, FreezeM co-founder and chief technology officer.

Another Israeli company, BugEra, a startup from Ben Gurion University, is genetically engineering strains of black soldier for use as biofuel. Fly maggots are rich in lipids that could provide a sustainable alternative to crop oils. Another advantage is that BSF farming could tap into circular economy opportunities. “BSF can be reared on different substrates, like food waste and manure,” says Yoav Etgar, CEO and co-founder of the Beer Sheva-based biotech. Fly oil, however, has yet to take off commercially because, so far, the market has leaned towards feed production, says Anna Melkov, BugEra chief technology officer and co-founder.

To overcome this bias, BugEra has developed a BSF strain with double the lipid content, using the CRISPR–Cas9 gene-editing technique to modify genes involved in fat metabolism. Because identifying flies with desirable mutations is time intensive and can become a bottleneck, BugEra developed a technique that allows DNA extraction and screening of hundreds of individuals per day. The startup also expects to add a phenotypic marker such as eye color to accelerate screening further, as well as gene downregulation techniques, such as RNA interference (RNAi), to broaden the characteristics of BSF lines.

Meanwhile, the UK insect genetics company Beta Bugs focuses on selecting strains with the best traits for breeding. The company scientists at the facility, located at the Roslin Innovation Centre near Edinburgh, start by collecting physical and environmental insect parameters from their insect populations, selecting for increased larval biomass, faster development and greater number of eggs laid. This approach allows them to disentangle favorable genetics from possible environmental variables: “We can be assured that our insects’ performance is increasing not because they received more food, or were reared in a higher temperature, but because we are improving the underlying genetics,” says Thomas Farrugia, the company’s CEO. Beta Bugs ships BSF lines to customers in the insect farming industry.

To support the industry’s expansion, Beta Bugs recently co-founded the UK’s Insect Bioconversion Association, in conjunction with BSF company Better Origin and other commercial insect producers. Their goal is to raise awareness of the role insect farming can play in reducing food waste while providing high-quality animal feed, oils and fertilizer. They also work to expedite the regulatory pathway through engagement with the U.K. government.

A type of beetle larva commonly called a mealworm is also part of the surging interest in bug farms. Beta Hatch produces mealworms (the larvae of Tenebrio molitor) for use as feed in aquaculture and farm animal nutrition, as well as pet food. “The potential for insects in the food supply chain is immense,” says entomologist Virginia Emery, who is founder and CEO of Beta Hatch. Beyond providing high-quality nutrients for animal feed and plant fertilizer, larvae in the Tenebrionidae are remarkable for their digestive powers, which include plastic waste biodegradation. “The only known way to biodegrade Styrofoam is in the gut of a mealworm,” says Emery, adding that worms can digest and eliminate harmful mycotoxins and process all kinds of waste.

Beta Hatch deploys genomic tools to raise their bugs in the most efficient and scalable way possible. Through selective breeding, the scientists map key traits such as weight and development time, tracking their heritability, and monitoring the genomic diversity of their breeding stock. In addition, Beta Hatch is developing a CRISPR proof-of-concept toolkit to produce custom proteins in their insects.

Another mealworm farm with products on the market is Ÿnsect. Its protein ingredient is already in U.S. luxury dog food brand Bernie’s, among others, and is exported around the world for use in pet food or to feed fish, to fertilize plants and for human consumption. The Paris-based company was founded in 2011 by four scientists and environmental activists with a vision to produce an alternative, sustainable product for feed and food. They set up vertical insect farms powered by robotics, each yielding several tons of mealworm products a year, and in 2021, the European food safety authority deemed mealworms safe for human consumption.

In June 2023 Ÿnsect launched the world’s first high-density gene chip for insect breeding. The chip contains 679,205 single-nucleotide polymorphisms, covering more than 99 percent of the mealworm’s coding regions. It can help scientists identify genes linked to traits of interest, such as growth performance, reproduction, or disease resistance. The company plans to make the new chip, called AxiomYNS_Mol1, available to the wider scientific community to help users decipher biological pathways, answer fundamental questions or improve selection of mealworm lines with desired traits.

All in all, with the work of these companies and genetic editing tools, insect farming is gaining ground in the global food economy as an alternative source of animal protein.

This article is reproduced with permission and was first published on August 11, 2023.

via Scientific American

August 28, 2023 at 06:31AM

NVIDIA Reports Q2 FY2024 Earnings: $13B Revenue Blows Past Records On Absurd Data Center Demand

NVIDIA this afternoon has announced their results for the second quarter of their 2024 fiscal year, delivering what’s arguably the most anticipated earnings report of the season. Riding high on unprecedented demand for their data center-class GPUs for use in AI systems, NVIDIA’s revenues have been on a rapid rise – as well as their standing on Wall Street.

For the second quarter of their 2024 fiscal year, NVIDIA booked $13.5 billion in revenue, which is a 101% increase over the year-ago quarter. The company has, at this point, shaken off the broader slump in technology spending on the back of an explosion in demand for their data center products, and to a lesser extent the latest generation of their consumer GeForce graphics products. As a result, this is a quarter for the record books, as NVIDIA has set new records for everything from revenue to net income.

NVIDIA Q2 FY2024 Financial Results (GAAP)
  Q2 FY2024 Q1 FY2024 Q2 FY2023 Q/Q Y/Y
Revenue $13.5B $7.2B $6.7B +88% +101%
Gross Margin 70.1% 64.6% 43.5% +5.5ppt +26.6ppt
Operating Income $6.8B $2.1B $499M +218% +1263%
Net Income $6.1B $2.0B $656M +203% +843%
EPS $2.48 $0.82 $0.26 +202% +854%

Driven by their highly profitable, high-margin data center products, NVIDIA achieved a GAAP gross margin of 70.1% for the quarter. Coupled with their record revenue, this has resulted in NVIDIA booking a blistering $6.1B in net income, an 843% improvement over Q2’22, and even more than trebling their net income versus just the previous quarter.

And while high margins are not unheard of for fabless semiconductor companies like NVIDIA, it’s all but unheard of for a company of this scale to hit those kinds of margins. In the span of just a year, NVIDIA has gone from earning $6 billion a quarter in revenue to keeping $6 billion in revenue as profits. Suffice it to say, it’s very good to be NVIDIA right now – or at least, it’s good to be working in NVIDIA’s data center product teams right now.

Things seem set to continue going NVIDIA’s way, as well. The company, handily beating their already very bullish $11B revenue projection for Q2, is projecting a further 18%+ jump in revenue for Q3, to $16B in revenue. Which, if NVIDIA’s projections pan out, would afford a 71.5% GAAP gross margin. This would set a new round of records for NVIDIA, who in just the last quarter became a trillion-dollar market capitalization company, and as of this moment is already knocking on $1.3 trillion in after-hours trading. But with lofty projections will also come lofty expectations to perform, and to maintain that kind of performance for more than a handful of quarters.

NVIDIA Market Segment Results

NVIDIA Market Platform Revenue, Q2 FY2024
  Q2 FY2024 Q1 FY2024 Q2 FY2023 Q/Q Y/Y
Data Center $10,323M $4,284M $3,806M +141% +171%
Gaming $2,486M $2,240M $2,042M +11% +21%
Professional Visualization $379M $295M $496M +28% -24%
Automotive $253M $296M $220M -15% +15%
OEM & IP $66M $77M $140M -14% -53%

Diving into the performance of NVIDIA’s individual market segments, the bellwether of NVIDIA’s product portfolio remains their data center segment. That segment posted $10.3B in revenue for Q2, not just setting a new segment record, but smashing the old record in the process.

NVIDIA’s data center segment has grown by leaps and bounds over the past year in particular, on the back of developments with large language models (LLMs) in the AI space, and the subsequent spike in demand for high-performance processors that can train and run those models. According to the company, the bulk of this additional demand has come from a mix of cloud service providers and consumer internet companies, with data center compute product revenue growing by 195% year-over-year. At this point NVIDIA is full speed ahead with the production of Hopper architecture (GH100) based products, and if a report from the Financial Times is correct, the company is now looking to triple its GH100 production, in anticipation of shipping over 1.5M units in 2024.

The jump in sales in their data center processors has also spurred on similar growth in NVIDIA’s other data center product segments as well. Networking revenue for the company was up 94% year-over-year, as customers have been buying up increasing amounts of InfiniBand hardware to wire up their GPU installations. Unfortunately, NVIDIA doesn’t provide a further breakdown here of how much of this increase is in the form of bundled sales – customers buying DGX SuperPods and other NVIDIA products that come with InfiniBand hardware installed – and how much of that is ad-hoc networking equipment sales. But either way the success of NVIDIA’s data center GPUs is good news for their networking division.

But NVIDIA’s success in the data center compute market also means that the company’s overall revenues have become increasingly imbalanced. In the last couple of years NVIDIA has gone from being primarily a gaming company to primarily a compute company to almost entirely a compute company. NVIDIA’s compute and networking segment sales – one of NVIDIA’s two canonical reporting segments – now make up 77% of their overall revenue, and the disparity is increasing. So while NVIDIA is doing well on the whole, the lopsided success driven by the generative AI market means that they are, at least for the moment, not very well diversified with regards to revenue.

Speaking of things that aren’t data center GPUs, NVIDIA’s gaming market segment recorded $2.5B in revenue for Q2. This is up a “mere” 22% versus the year-ago quarter, coming on the back of the launch of NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 40 series products. Now that the company has finished releasing the full product stacks for both mobile and desktop, the company is enjoying a surge in sales as gamers are picking up the new hardware, and retailers have largely finished selling off old GeForce RTX 30 stock.

And while NVIDIA’s gaming revenue pales in comparison to the data center, this is otherwise a good quarter for that market segment. While it does not end up being anything near a record due to the most recent cryptocurrency rush blowing up NVIDIA’s gaming revenues a couple of years back, excluding those quarters, this would be one of NVIDIA’s best quarters for the gaming segment on a revenue basis. Diving a bit into NVIDIA’s historical data, gaming sales have grown by about $1.2B in the last 4 years, falling just short of doubling NVIDIA’s revenues there. Though it goes without saying that gamers are less enthused about the current state of video card prices that are allowing NVIDIA to afford such revenue growth.

Moving down the list, NVIDIA’s professional visualization segment finds itself in a weaker spot. The ramp of Ada Lovelace architecture workstation products has helped, especially in quarterly revenue, but at $379M in revenue, year-over-year revenue is down 24%. The professional visualization market has seemingly reached its saturation point, and while revenue ebbs and flows from one quarter to the next, NVIDIA has not been able to grow it significantly over the past several years.

The automotive segment, meanwhile, is NVIDIA’s final market segment to show growth for the quarter. That segment booked $253M in revenue for Q2, up 15% from the year-ago quarter. According to NVIDIA, the bump in revenue was primarily driven by sales of self-driving platforms, tapered by lower overall car sales (particularly in China).

Finally, NVIDIA’s OEM & Other segment was another that saw significant declines, dropping 53% to $66M. The company hasn’t offered any further details with this quarter’s financial results release, but in the previous quarter the drop was attributed to declines in GeForce MX GPU sales.

Looking Forward: To $16B Of Revenue In Q3

Given the rapid tear NVIDIA has been on in growing its revenues and profitability over the past year, half of the anticipation with recent NVIDIA earnings releases has not just been how well they’ve performed, but how well they expect to perform in the future. And at least for the next quarter, NVIDIA is projecting another set of record results.

For the third quarter of their 2024 fiscal year, NVIDIA is projecting $16 billion (plus or minus 2%) in revenue. That would be a 169% year-over-year jump in total revenue for the company, eclipsing the 101% growth of Q2. So long as NVIDIA’s data center sales remain high, the company seems set to remain on a growth spurt through the rest of the year, as Q2 is the first quarter where NVIDIA has been shipping Hopper architecture products in large volumes – meaning that Q2 is essentially the start of the Hopper architecture era from and NVIDIA sales perspective. And should NVIDIA beat their own projections by more than a fraction, then the company will book more revenue in Q3’24 than they did in all of FY2021.

The further expected growth in data center sales is also expected to push NVIDIA’s gross margins higher as well. The company is projecting a GAAP gross margin of 71.5% for the third quarter, beating Q2’s already impressive figures.

As for what NVIDIA is doing with their newfound riches, where they aren’t already investing more into data center GPU production to try to catch up with demand, NVIDIA is sinking their cash into stock buybacks. Already in the midst of a share repurchase program with $3.95 billion left, this week the company’s board of directors has authorized NVIDIA to buy back an additional $25 billion in shares.

Besides bringing NVIDIA slightly more private by removing outstanding shares, this is almost certain to further boost NVIDIA’s stock price, which like the company itself, has been on a tear this year. At the time of their Q1 earnings report, NVIDIA’s stock was hovering around $307 a share, for a market cap of around $755 billion. Now the price is at $471, and in after-hours trading it’s jumped a further 7% to $505 on the back of NVIDIA beating the street on their earnings report. As a result, NVIDIA is closing in on a market capitalization of $1.3 trillion, almost 4x the valuation of rivals AMD and Intel combined.

For the moment, at least, it would seem the sky’s the limit for data center GPU sales. NVIDIA is already unable to keep up with demand for Hopper products, and that won’t be changing in the near future. So, for as long as they can last for NVIDIA, let the good times roll.

via AnandTech

August 23, 2023 at 05:10PM