Nvidia is stumping up a ton of cash to secure enough manufacturing capacity for its next-gen GPUs, according to a new report, which could be great news in terms of the effort to end the current graphics card shortage.
This comes from Hardware Times, which claims that Nvidia is going to dip into its coffers to the tune of almost $10 billion (around £7.3 billion, AU$14 billion) in order to book enough 5nm capacity at TSMC to secure the production of chips for next-gen ‘Lovelace’ products.
As you may be aware, what will presumably be the RTX 4000 series is supposedly dropping down to 5nm, from the current 8nm with Ampere GPUs, a move which should give Nvidia plenty of room to boost performance with these incoming graphics cards that are expected to arrive later in 2022.
Of course, TSMC’s 5nm is a cutting-edge process and competition among big tech firms is fierce where it’s concerned, hence it isn’t surprising Nvidia is having to dig deep into its pockets, at least in theory.
Analysis: Capacity wars – Team Green vs Team Red
Nvidia spending big in this way, if true, would hardly be a surprise as mentioned. We’ve been promised (more or less) a serious uptick in production and stock levels for Team Green’s GPUs as the second half of 2022 rolls around, and given the inventory woes which have plagued gamers trying to buy RTX 3000 graphics cards, Nvidia will want to ensure that launch stock of RTX 4000 models isn’t thin on the ground. Otherwise the unleashing of next-gen GPUs will be greeted by sighs and “here we go again” type comments.
Nvidia will naturally have its eye on rival GPU maker AMD, too, because Team Red has already been making positive noises about its graphics cards becoming easier to buy in the future. AMD has underlined that its purchase of Xilinx will really help bolster its supply chain, and that the company has a long-term strategy for ensuring stock problems are considerably eased going forward, procuring enough “share of capacity” when it comes to chipmakers.
This will be part of that fierce competition Nvidia faces on 5nm, in theory, as AMD is rumored to be using that process for its higher-end RDNA 3 GPUs which are also scheduled to arrive later in 2022, to face off against RTX 4000.
Whatever the case, and however this battle for manufacturing capacity pans out in the GPU arena, we’ll just be thankful to (hopefully) see more graphics cards on shelves later this year.
Don’t forget that Intel is also entering the market with its Alchemist cards, the desktop versions of which are expected to debut in Q2, with speculation suggesting that Team Blue will have robust levels of supply from launch. That’s another compelling reason Nvidia won’t want to fail to cater for demand this year, of course, and could pay through the nose potentially to avoid any scenario where it falls short.