S'pore the 4th largest buyer of Nvidia chips, accounts for 15% of company's revenue

Nvidia's Singapore revenue accounted for more than the rest of the world, excluding the US, Taiwan, and China.

Tan Min-Wei | December 03, 2023, 06:15 AM



Singapore, a tiny country, accounted for some 15 per cent of Nvidia's revenue, a filing by the chip manufacturing titan on Nov. 21 with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) showed.

In absolute terms, Singapore accounted for about US$2.7 billion (S$3.6 billion) worth of the purchases.

Hold me closer tiny country

This volume placed Singapore as the fourth largest purchaser of Nvidia's chips behind the U.S. (34.77 per cent), Taiwan (23.91 per cent), and China (22.24 per cent) for the third quarter of 2023.

The company's revenue derived from Singapore was also larger than the rest of the world combined, excluding the top three purchasers.

Also notable in Nvidia's SEC filing was that its revenue in Singapore for the first three quarters of 2023 that ended October had more than doubled over a comparable time frame in 2022 — US$4.5 billion (S$6 billion) versus US$1.9 billion (S$2.5 billion).

Data centres in Singapore

Experts that CNBC spoke to speculated that data centre construction was the reason for the “tiny country” of Singapore's high placement on the list.

Maybank securities analyst Jarick Seet told CNBC that Singapore has a large number of data centres and cloud service providers, all of which have use for Nvidia's products.

Seet also speculated that Nvidia’s chips could be sent to Singapore for final assembly with other products before being exported to other countries.

An ex-Temasek and GIC executive credited Singapore's stable and secure reputation, abundance of available talent, solid digital infrastructure, as well as government policies conducive to digital and data services.

Singapore is also home to a moderate-sized chip industry, and has been able to attract long-term investors, such as Micron, and potential new investors.

According to CNBC, in 2019, Singapore issued a moratorium on the use of land for data centre use, seeking to moderate the growth of data centres.

Since January 2022 this has been reversed, with companies such as Equinox and Microsoft being allowed to develop new data centre projects.

There are more than 70 operational data centres in Singapore, accounting for 60 per cent of Southeast Asia's total data centre capacity.

An international trade administration report said demand for data centres in Singapore will remain high due to the rapid growth of digital apps, e-commerce, internet of things, artificial intelligence, crypto trading, blockchain activities and online gaming.

Chip wars

Nvidia makes the chips that go into some of the world's most advanced artificial intelligence platforms, and in May 2023 was for a time a valued at over US$1 trillion.

The company initially became famous for producing high-powered graphics cards for a variety of uses, including gaming.

However, in the past few years, the company has found new niches in computing, particularly in cryptocurrency and is at the forefront of artificial intelligence research.

It is also at the heart of a geopolitical competition, with the U.S.-based company doing a significant amount of business with China.

But the U.S. has decided to limit the amount and quality of Nvidia's chips that may be exported to China, seeking to limit China's progress in advanced technologies.

Related stories

Top image via Nvidia/Facebook