The annual CES trade show in Las Vegas is a launchpad not only for consumer electronics gadgets, but also for the latest microprocessors to power those and future devices.

Among the semiconductor firms expected to have a big presence at this year’s show are Intel (INTC), Qualcomm (QCOM) and Nvidia (NVDA). Those three will be briefing the media on their latest developments at preshow events Sunday and Monday. The four-day CES show officially opens Tuesday.

CES 2018 could be an important show for chip vendors that supply carmakers with processors for safety systems and autonomous driving, Morgan Stanley analysts Joseph Moore and Craig Hettenbach said in a report Wednesday.

“We increasingly see the focus of CES shifting toward cars and autonomous driving and other vision-oriented products as machine learning accelerates the path to machine vision,” they wrote.

The chip stocks most likely to react to CES announcements are Ambarella (AMBA) and Nvidia, Morgan Stanley said. The firm rates Ambarella as overweight, or buy, and Nvidia as equal-weight, or hold.

Ambarella is expected to demonstrate its computer vision technology for cars at the show. It hopes to provide computer vision systems for self-driving cars.

Ambarella also is likely to show off new computer vision chips for the surveillance and drone markets, Morgan Stanley said.

IBD’S TAKE: For the latest news on chip stocks, visit IBD’s news page Chip Stocks To Watch And Semiconductor Industry News.

Nvidia could get a lift from a Sunday-night presentation by Chief Executive Jensen Huang. He is expected to discuss Nvidia’s progress in the automotive market, including autonomous vehicles.

Nvidia is expected to highlight “a broad range of growth drivers” at CES 2018, including automotive, PC and console gaming, and cryptocurrency mining, Moore and Hettenbach said.

Nvidia stock jumped 6.6% to 212.47 on the stock market today. Ambarella rose 3.4% to 64.47.


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