Discover more from Market Tides 🌊 (Equities & Crypto)
The Semiconductor Ecosystem - (NVDA, AMD & Friends)
Enter the nuanced semiconductor landscape with a spotlight on NVDA and AMD. This report explores the industry workflow, manufacturing techniques, growth strategies, and obstacles.
Overview Semiconductors are in everything, but not all are considered equal. When looking at semiconductors there are various stages of the semiconductor manufacturing process:
🚧 Materials and Equipment Suppliers:
These companies provide the raw materials and equipment necessary for semiconductor manufacturing.
Applied Materials (AMAT)
Lam Research (LRCX)
KLA Corporation (KLAC)
ASML Holding (ASML)
✏️ Design and Intellectual Property:
These companies are involved in the design of semiconductors and often license their technology to other companies.
Arm Holdings (ARM)
Cadence Design Systems (CDNS)
🔂 Integrated Device Manufacturers:
These companies design and manufacture their own chips.
Intel Corporation (INTC)
Texas Instruments (TXN)
These companies manufacture chips for fabless semiconductor companies.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSM)
Samsung Electronics (SSNLF)
GlobalFoundries (GFS) - recently went public
🏢 Fabless Semiconductor Companies:
These companies design chips but outsource the manufacturing to foundries.
NVIDIA Corporation (NVDA)
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
🏭 Assembly and Testing:
These companies provide semiconductor assembly and testing services.
ASE Technology Holding Co., Ltd. (ASX)
Amkor Technology (AMKR)
Where do we go from here? Summary of plans for growth / how based on most recent forecasting:
1. Supply and Demand Management - NVIDIA is actively managing its supply chain to meet customer demand. It has procured substantially higher Data Center supply for the second half compared to the first half of fiscal year 2024. It is also entering into supplier and capacity prepayment arrangements.
2. Product Transitions - NVIDIA is transitioning the architecture of its Data Center, Professional Visualization, and Gaming products. These transitions are complex and can impact the company's ability to predict demand and supply mix.
3. Collaboration with Third Parties - NVIDIA depends on developers, customers, and other third parties to build, enhance, and maintain accelerated computing applications that leverage its platforms. It also relies on third-party content providers and publishers to make their content available on its platforms.
4. Market Adaptation - NVIDIA acknowledges the need to adapt to changing market conditions, customer requirements, and emerging technologies. It also recognizes the impact of economic conditions on its business.
1. Supply and Demand Management
Supplier and Capacity Prepayment Arrangements - NVIDIA has entered and expects to continue to enter into supplier and capacity prepayment arrangements. This approach helps secure the necessary supply to meet anticipated demand.
Increased Data Center Supply - NVIDIA has procured substantially higher Data Center supply for the second half compared to the first half of fiscal year 2024. This move is aimed at meeting the growing demand in this sector.
Managing Product Transitions - NVIDIA acknowledges that product transitions are complex, especially as it often ships both new and prior architecture products simultaneously. The company is currently transitioning the architecture of its Data Center, Professional Visualization, and Gaming products. These transitions can impact the company's ability to predict demand and affect its supply mix.
Inventory Management - NVIDIA may incur inventory provisions or impairments if its inventory or supply and capacity commitments are misaligned with demand for its products. If NVIDIA overestimates its customers’ future demand for its products, or if customers cancel or defer orders or choose to purchase from its competitors, it may not be able to reduce its inventory or other contractual purchase commitments.
Pricing Adjustments - NVIDIA has had to increase prices for certain of its products as a result of its suppliers’ increase in prices, and it may need to continue to do so for other products in the future.
Supply Chain Resiliency - NVIDIA is working on the resiliency and redundancy of its supply chain, which is currently concentrated in the Asia-Pacific region, including China, Hong Kong, Korea, and Taiwan. Changes to trade requirements may negatively impact its business.
2. Product Transitions
NVIDIA is transitioning the architecture of its Data Center, Professional Visualization, and Gaming products. These transitions are complex and can impact the company's ability to predict demand and supply mix.
Challenges in transition?
Complexity of Transitions - Product transitions are complex as NVIDIA often ships both new and prior architecture products simultaneously. This complexity can impact the company's ability to predict demand and affect its supply mix.
Quality Concerns - The bring up of new product architectures is complex due to functionality challenges and quality concerns not identified in manufacturing testing. These product quality issues may incur costs, increase NVIDIA's warranty costs, and delay further production of its architecture.
Customer Anticipation - Customers anticipating product transitions and channel partners reducing channel inventory of prior architectures ahead of new product introductions can create reductions or volatility in NVIDIA's revenue.
Supply and Demand Misalignment - NVIDIA may incur inventory provisions or impairments if its inventory or supply and capacity commitments are misaligned with demand for its products.
Global Trade Restrictions - New export controls or changes to existing controls could negatively impact NVIDIA's business, revenue, or supply chain. Management of these new license and other requirements is complicated and time-consuming.
Changes in Market Conditions - Decisions made by NVIDIA's channel partners, distributors, retailers, and in response to changing market conditions and changes in end-user demand for its products have impacted and could in the future continue to impact its ability to properly forecast demand.
3. Third-Party Collaboration Strategy
NVIDIA is enhancing supplier security via training and awareness programs, simultaneously meeting industry standards, customer security needs, and government regulations.
To counter cyber-attacks, the company is bolstering its products' security features, expecting increased costs.
NVIDIA uses third-party and open-source data cautiously in its AI algorithms due to potential flaws, biases, and limited insights into data privacy or security.
With a concentrated Asia-Pacific supply chain, NVIDIA aims to increase resilience and redundancy, recognizing that trade changes could adversely affect the business.
The company is addressing AI's ethical challenges by developing policies for responsible AI use, acknowledging this could influence AI adoption and its business.
NVIDIA is planning strategies to handle potential disruptions to its global operations from various risk factors including disasters, resource shortages, supplier disruptions, geopolitical issues, and regulatory changes.
4. Market Adaptation
NVIDIA acknowledges the need to adapt to changing market conditions, customer requirements, and emerging technologies. It also recognizes the impact of economic conditions on its business.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) - NVIDIA is increasingly building AI capabilities into many of its products and services. It also offers stand-alone AI applications. AI poses emerging ethical issues and presents risks and challenges that could affect its adoption, and therefore NVIDIA's business.
Generative AI Models - New technologies such as generative AI models have emerged, and while they have driven increased demand for compute infrastructure, the long-term trajectory is unknown. It is difficult for NVIDIA to estimate with any reasonable degree of precision the impact of generative AI models on its reported revenue or forecasted demand.
Cloud Services and Standalone Software Solutions - NVIDIA offers enterprise customers NVIDIA AI cloud services directly and through its network of partners. Examples of these services include NVIDIA DGX Cloud, which includes cloud-based infrastructure and software for training and deploying AI models, and NVIDIA AI Foundations for customizable pretrained AI models. NVIDIA also offers or plans to offer standalone software solutions including NVIDIA AI Enterprise, NVIDIA Omniverse, NVIDIA DRIVE, and several other software solutions.
Omniverse Platform - NVIDIA is investing in its Omniverse platform, a technology for use cases and applications that may be new or may not yet exist. Its demand estimates for these use cases and applications can be incorrect and create volatility in its revenue or supply levels, and it may not be able to generate significant revenue from these use cases and applications.
AMD TIME: How do they compete?
Summary of Article: GPT-4 cutting out all the Forbes fluff (Mind you this article was around 2,500… 90% of it fluff)
Thanks for reading Market Tides 🌊 (Equities & Crypto)! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
Lisa Su, the CEO of AMD, has been instrumental in the company's turnaround. When she took over in 2014, AMD was struggling, but she managed to capitalize on Intel's missteps and secure deals with major companies like Lenovo, Sony, Google, and Amazon. This led to a significant increase in AMD's stock price.
Now, Su is preparing AMD to compete in the AI market, aiming to produce a chip that can challenge Nvidia's dominance in the sector. She believes that AI will be a major growth driver for AMD in the next five years.
Despite the success, Su is aware of the challenges ahead, including competition from Nvidia and the possibility of AMD's customers developing their own chips. However, she is confident in AMD's technical expertise and its ability to compete in the evolving market.
Where do we go from here? Summary of plans for growth / how based on most recent forecasting:
Investment in Research and Development - AMD makes substantial investments in R&D, but it acknowledges the risks and uncertainties associated with these investments. It also recognizes the need to adapt quickly to customer requirements and emerging technologies.
Attracting and Retaining Qualified Personnel - AMD acknowledges the importance of attracting, training, and retaining qualified employees for its business. It uses share-based incentive awards to help attract, retain, and motivate its employees.
Market Adaptation - AMD is aware of the need to adapt to changing market conditions and the impact of worldwide political conditions on its business. It also acknowledges the potential impact of government incentives on its competitiveness.
Stock Repurchase Program - AMD has a stock repurchase program in place, which could affect the trading price of its stock and potentially impact its ability to recruit and retain employees.
In comparison, both NVIDIA and AMD are focusing on adapting to market changes, investing in R&D, and managing their supply chains effectively. However, NVIDIA seems to be more focused on product transitions and collaborations with third parties, while AMD is putting more emphasis on attracting and retaining qualified personnel and managing its stock price through a repurchase program.
More coming soon in this Semiconductor Ecosystem series so make sure to subscribe and share to help me grow.