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Nvidia unveils the actual reasons behind the RTX 3000 shortages

Time to tap those TSMC 7 nm nodes? (Image Source: PCGamesN)
Time to tap those TSMC 7 nm nodes? (Image Source: PCGamesN)
We now have official confirmation that the Samsung 8 nm nodes are suboptimal when it comes to Ampere wafer yields, but this is not the only issue that is causing shortages for the RTX 3000 GPUs. Nvidia CFO Colette Kress revealed that the Samsung foundries are also unable to get enough substrates and components.

Nvidia is finally acknowledging that the yields from Samsung’s 8 nm nodes are not exactly what the company expected and this constitutes one of the main reasons behind the RTX 3000 shortages. We started suspecting this would be the case ever since we came across  the rumors regarding the production move to TSMC, plus we half-heartedly entertained the possibility that there might be financial evidence to prove most of the Amper-based gaming GPU supply somehow ended up sold directly to Ethereum crypto miners. Of course, Team Green never presented an official statement to such allegations, but, in a recent webcast held during the Credit Suisse 24th Annual Technology Conference, Nvidia CFO Colette Kress revealed that the wafer yields are not the only problems behind the GPU shortages:

We do have supply constraints and our supply constraints do expand past what we are seeing in terms of wafers and silicon, but yes some constraints are in substrates and components. We continue to work during the quarter on our supply and we believe though that demand will probably exceed supply in Q4 for overall gaming.

While we do not get any more details regarding the nature of  these substrates and components, it is clear that the low production yields are affected by limited supplies of raw materials. Sounds like Samsung is not able to provide adequate production conditions, and Nvidia could indeed seek TSMC’s help. Tom’s Hardware further points out that these shortages may also be influenced by logistics and distribution difficulties, as AIB partners and supply chains would need to compete with pharmaceutical companies taking over most of the available aerial cargo space to ship SARS-COV2 vaccines in the coming months.

Kress is also mentioning that the demand for gaming GPUs is expected to exceed the supply through Q4 2020. However, from what we are hearing, this would be more apparent for the high-end RTX 3080 and 3090 cards, whereas the RTX 3060 Ti and RTX 3070 supplies could steadily increase over the next few weeks. It will be interesting to see if Nvidia is going to start tapping TSMC’s 7 nm nodes for its upcoming RTX 3050 / 3060 and RTX 3080 Ti desktop cards plus all the Ampere-based mobility GPUs scheduled for Q1 2021.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 12 > Nvidia unveils the actual reasons behind the RTX 3000 shortages
Bogdan Solca, 2020-12- 4 (Update: 2020-12- 4)