Nvidia CFO Colette Kress continues to believe that graphics card availability will improve from the second half of 2022. At an analyst conference, she said: “We are working with our supply chain partners to improve availability. Looking ahead to the second half of calendar year 2022, we have a better sense of our supply situation.”
Also market research teams, such as from Gartner or TrendForce believe that the chip crisis will improve from the summer of 2022. The time frame would not come as a surprise: the chip shortage started in the second half of 2020 because demand for notebooks, among other things, skyrocketed due to the corona pandemic. Two years is a realistic amount of time to expand manufacturing capacity on a larger scale.
TSMC as the world’s largest chip contract manufacturer investment will increase significantly again this year: from 18.4 billion US dollars in 2020 to 30 billion in 2021 to now 40 billion to 44 billion in 2022. Other contract manufacturers such as Globalfoundries and UMC are also expanding their plants.
New production generation
In the case of complex semiconductor components, other companies are likely to switch to the new production generation with structure widths of 5 nanometers – this means that more CPUs and GPUs can be accommodated on a silicon wafer. According to the 2-year cycle so far, Nvidia could unveil the GeForce RTX 4000 series, rumored to be codenamed Ada Lovelace, even this year should roll off the assembly line at TSMC with 5 nm technology.
Should Nvidia continue to manufacture new graphics chips at TSMC and previous GPUs at Samsung with its 8 nm technology, higher quantities would be realistic. However, in order to noticeably reduce the prices raised in retail, availability would have to increase significantly: AMD and Nvidia sold almost 26 percent more GPUs in the third quarter of 2021 than in the third quarter of 2020 – manufacturers delivered as estimated by Jon Peddie Research 12.7 million graphics cards and notebook graphics chips. Nevertheless, there was no relaxation in the retail trade.
On the youngest Analyst Conference (transcript at Seekingalpha) argued Nvidia’s CFO Kress the impact of crypto mining farms on the availability of graphics cards is no longer as vehement as it used to be. The influence of cryptocurrencies that can be mined with GPUs (such as Ethereum and Ravencoin) is therefore “very difficult to quantify”.
The Taiwan News Agency Digitimes also raises the questionwhether there will be enough manufacturing capacity in the right places in 2022. Power management circuits (PMICs), which are manufactured in older manufacturing processes beyond 40 nm, are said to remain scarce. Such PMICs also require all graphics cards and mainboards.