Graphics card stock levels could improve in the near future, and the overall situation might improve markedly as the second half of 2022 rolls around, going by the latest from the grapevine.
This is according to a report from DigiTimes (flagged by Tom’s Hardware), which contends that ABF substrate shortages – that’s Ajinomoto Build-up Film substrates, one of the building blocks of a board like a graphics card – are going to be ‘greatly reduced’ after mid-2022.
So hopefully, as the middle of the year rolls past, we should see considerably better availability of graphics cards, with DigiTimes pointing to ASRock and PowerColor (which make AMD cards) being poised to ramp up their production levels at a ‘gradual’ pace throughout the second half of 2022.
Indeed, the stock situation could begin improving before then, as the aforementioned ABF substrate woes will begin to ease after February, so from March onwards, we should see things pick up a bit. All of this assumes that the sources DigiTimes spoke to are solid and their predictions pan out.
The report further asserts that graphics cards will continue to sell strongly, and prices will still stay at high levels throughout the first half of 2022. That said, we are seeing indications that card prices are starting to fall right now, but they are still way, way above the manufacturer’s recommended price – although any drop is more than welcome, of course.
Analysis: Broad optimism that things will get better later in 2022
As Tom’s points out, there’s been other buzz on the grapevine about the situation with ABF substrates, and the likes of Singapore’s Business Times believe that the shortage is going to be a far longer-term crisis – potentially continuing over the next few years. That report is now four months old, mind you, but still, it’s a big difference from the prediction made by DigiTimes.
We can but hope the latter is more on the money, for the sake of the whole tech industry which uses ABF substrates, not just GPUs. And what’s also cause for optimism in terms of the potential easing of graphics card stock problems is the forecasts recently made by Nvidia and AMD.
AMD’s CEO Lisa Su has said to expect that chip shortages and supply issues should get better in the second half of 2022, and Collette Kress, Nvidia’s CFO, has echoed those sentiments. So there is a broad feeling out there that later this year, things will improve – at least for GPUs – although of course no one has a crystal ball, and not everyone shares this optimism (Intel’s CEO Pat Gelsinger is still in the camp which believes the chip shortage could last through until 2023).