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UPDATE 2-Nvidia expects first-quarter sales to exceed $5.3 bln

(Adds details on crypto unit, background)

April 12 (Reuters) - Nvidia Corp’s first-quarter revenue will be above its earlier forecast of $5.3 billion, the chipmaker said on Monday, as it benefits from strong demand for chips that power data centers and cryptocurrency mining.

The company’s shares, which rose on the back of a slew of product announcements during the session, were trading nearly 6% higher.

Demand for Nvidia’s gaming graphic chips has soared during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the bigger boost to its sales has come from an aggressive push into artificial intelligence chips, which handle tasks such as speech and image recognition in data centers

“While our fiscal 2022 first quarter is not yet complete, Q1 total revenue is tracking above the $5.30 billion outlook,” Chief Financial Officer Colette Kress said in a statement.

Nvidia’s unit that supports cryptocurrency mining is now expected to report sales of $150 million in the quarter, up from previous forecast of $50 million, the company said.

The company’s upbeat forecast comes even as the chip industry continues to reel from a global shortage of components, disrupting wide-scale manufacturing of products including vehicles and smartphones.

“We expect demand to continue to exceed supply for much of this year,” Kress said.

Earlier on Monday, Nvidia said it was planning to make a server processor chip based on technology from Arm Ltd, putting it in the most direct competition yet with rival Intel Corp . (Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M. and Anil D’Silva)

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