bit-tech.net

Nvidia warns of continued 28nm shortages

Nvidia warns of continued 28nm shortages

Nvidia's Jen-Hsun Huang has warned that shortages of 28nm parts are likely to continue into the fourth quarter.

Nvidia president and chief executive Jen-Hsun Huang has warned that supplies of 28nm parts will continue to be constrained with a knock-on effect on lead times, likely until the end of the year.

Issues with shrinking the process size to 28nm have been well reported, with Taiwan Semiconductor (TSMC) in particular hitting some serious capacity problems at the 28nm node and coming in for flak from customers including Qualcomm. Now Nvidia's Huang warns that the problems are likely to continue into the fourth quarter of the year, meaning increased lead times for Nvidia's various customers.

Speaking during his company's second-quarter earning call late last week, Huang explained that the 28nm situation is unlikely to get better in the short term. 'We're expecting to be supply constrained throughout this quarter,' Huang admitted in response to an analyst's question, 'and then we’ll report on that in Q4.'

Huang blamed several factors for the shortages: 'But obviously it's a combination of allocation, yield and the market demand,' he explained, 'and so those are a lot of variables.' Although the company's fabrication partners are largely to blame for yield issues - the ratio of usable chips to broken chips - and allocation issues, market demand for Nvidia's products is also playing a part in the shortages.

'So far market demand [for our 28nm parts] seems very strong,' Huang claimed, 'and we're selling into a marketplace with quite a bit of pent-up demand for Kepler.' The news of increasing demand - which has led Nvidia to increased profits, thanks both to boosted per-shipment pricing and an increase in overall shipments - is good for shareholders, but does leave Nvidia struggling to cope with demand for its latest-generation graphics chips.

Relief is in sight, however. 'Yields are improving, and we'd like them to improve even faster because when you improve yield faster with our wafer-buy business model that we talked about some three quarters ago, your units grow and your margins grow,' Huang explained. 'So we really need TSMC, and they're working really, really hard to improve yield because it's good for everybody, and so we need them to really focus on that.'

TSMC, for its part, has been re-tooling its 28nm process in an attempt to boost yields - and, judging by Huang's comments, those changes are having a positive effect. With Huang warning of demand outstripping supply until at least mid-way through the fourth quarter, however, we wouldn't hold our breaths to see major price drops in any 28nm graphics chips until at least Christmas.

15 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
azrael- 13th August 2012, 11:38 Quote
Hmmm... Is it me or is it always nVidia complaining about its process tech? And trying to shift the blame to TSMC. Very odd.
dunx 13th August 2012, 13:59 Quote
Shame, guess we'd better leave prices sky high then ?

Hmmm....
kenco_uk 13th August 2012, 15:34 Quote
Aye, long gone are the days when a high end gfx card would set you back a mighty £210 (9800GTX on release, only four years ago). High end atm is £399's worth of GTX680. Barmy.
ssj12 13th August 2012, 17:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by azrael-
Hmmm... Is it me or is it always nVidia complaining about its process tech? And trying to shift the blame to TSMC. Very odd.

Many other companies have complained about TSMC being slow. Nvidia is far from the only one.
Bede 13th August 2012, 17:30 Quote
TSMC has been the limiting factor on many projects for over half a decade now.
Harlequin 13th August 2012, 17:36 Quote
Problem is though, UMC arn`t on the bleeding edge and GloFo are also having issues.
ssj12 13th August 2012, 19:29 Quote
Can anyone tell me why TSMC hasnt built a new facility or two by now?
Harlequin 13th August 2012, 19:34 Quote
they dont need one? its the yields from the fab process thats the issue not the size of the factory
Elton 13th August 2012, 22:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
Aye, long gone are the days when a high end gfx card would set you back a mighty £210 (9800GTX on release, only four years ago). High end atm is £399's worth of GTX680. Barmy.

Well you have to remember that outside of shrinking the die of the mighty 8800GTX/Ultra, there really weren't many fundamentally large differences between G80 and G92. It was cheaper because AMD at the time managed to at least recapture some market share with their Die shrunk RV670 (HD3870) but they were still lagging behind and the GTX280 was still in the works.

Of course the moment the released the GT200 we saw that it really did transcend G80/G92, but before that the reason for the high end being momentarily cheap was that there was no real high end at the time except for the Dual GPU 9800GX2.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssj12
Can anyone tell me why TSMC hasnt built a new facility or two by now?

Cost efficiency. It really isnt' efficient to invest in so many tools, optics and litography if the process which is still flawed is going to be replaced soon by a smaller node. Plus those tools are extremely expensive anyhow.
play_boy_2000 13th August 2012, 23:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenco_uk
Aye, long gone are the days when a high end gfx card would set you back a mighty £210 (9800GTX on release, only four years ago). High end atm is £399's worth of GTX680. Barmy.

could have something to do with the value of your currency going down the $h|tter...

http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=GBP&to=USD&view=5Y
http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=GBP&to=TWD&view=5Y
Elton 13th August 2012, 23:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by play_boy_2000
could have something to do with the value of your currency going down the $h|tter...

http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=GBP&to=USD&view=5Y
http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=GBP&to=TWD&view=5Y

Or how about the fact that those times were anomalous? All other times the high end usually ranged at a higher 399 quid for the high end. Look at G70/RV5xx era. The NV40/RV4xx era. Look at all other instances in history and we see that the low has nothing to do with currency but rather a difference in the markets.
AndyBradley_0255 14th August 2012, 02:10 Quote
Yeah I remember getting two HD3870's as soon as they were released to replace a pair of X1900's for £160-ish each, and the HD4870/4850's were not much more than that either. High end/Top end GFX cards were loads cheaper back then.
Bindibadgi 14th August 2012, 02:38 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssj12
Can anyone tell me why TSMC hasnt built a new facility or two by now?

They have. It's a $5Bn+ investment though. It seems from 40 and below, yield is just not high - especially for multi-billion transistor parts. They aren't ARM chips.
Harlequin 14th August 2012, 07:55 Quote
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/11/tsmc-idUSL3E8HB4HO20120611

they`ve only just got approval to build the 450nm factory



@play_boy_2000

in 2008 the pound was over valued against world currencies and had to stabilise lower

http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=GBP&to=EUR&view=5Y

same trend against the euro
Tynecider 14th August 2012, 09:15 Quote
Hmm
Them: PROBLEM >>>
Us: REACTION >>>
Them: SOLUTION.

Translates to.....
Them: "Were short on material's" >>>
Us: "Oh no, We had better spend, spend, spend" >>>
Them: "Why don't you buy some of these".

But really means....

Them: "We're not making enough profit to keep the stock holder's happy" >>>
Them: "Let's advertise a scarcity of materials" >>>
Them: "And make sure we get rid of this magical stock of material's at full profit".


Or they genuinely could be telling the truth
Log in

You are not logged in, please login with your forum account below. If you don't already have an account please register to start contributing.



Discuss in the forums