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Nvidia CEO Talks Fermi Shortages, But Feels Good

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 65 comments

Jen-Hsun Huang's goal is finally realized with the release of Fermi this week.

Last week Nvidia held an investor meeting where company CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took over the microphone to speak on several interesting points.

One obvious point was the launch and critical reception of the Fermi-based chips, the GeForce GTX 480 and GTX 470. Even casual onlookers will see that the first wave of GF100 GPUs is in short supply. While the first batch of retail cards will be hitting this week, they're still two weeks behind the media launch from March 26. The Nvidia CEO admitted that his company can't take manufacturing advances for granted.

"From a supply perspective, we wish we had more 40-nm capacity," Huang said, according to Venture Beat. "We are working with TSMC really closely. They are doing a fab job. Yields are improving. Capacities are improving. But we are finding it hard to keep up. Everyone is clamoring to have Fermis out the door. We are working really hard to get Fermis out the door."

Nvidia is now taking additional steps to ensure that such a lag will be avoided in the future by dedicating several engineers to manufacturing issues. The company hopes that this will help it ease through the next manufacturing transition that it expects to occur in 18 months.

Even with the problems at the 40nm process, the Nvidia wants to transition its full product line for the sake of higher margins – a positive aspect that comes with process shrinks. The company has a gross profit margin of around 30 percent for 55nm chips, while the 40nm products will result in a 40 percent profit margin.

Despite Nvidia's technical achievements, the GeForce GTX 480 and GTX 470 cards have been met with some less-than-stellar reviews, at least in light of AMD's success with its current ATI GPU offerings. According to Venture Beat, Huang blames some of the criticism on the fact that Nvidia didn't give reviewers enough time to evaluate the product.

Nevertheless, the CEO feels a lot better now that Fermi is out the door. "What’s different now is Fermi is in production," he said. "Two years ago, I was just fantasizing about it."

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Top Comments
  • 29 Hide
    HansVonOhain , April 13, 2010 2:06 AM
    Cannot wait for 250 dollar 5850.
  • 28 Hide
    touchdowntexas13 , April 13, 2010 1:50 AM
    I really hope they are dedicating resources (ie some good engineers) to the manufacturing process. Nvidia can't be a big player in the desktop graphics sector if they can't efficiently produce their own hardware.

    For the consumer's sake, I hope Nvidia pulls through strong. Competition is key for us (the consumers). ATI has done a great job with their latest cards, but we need someone to challenge them and challenge them good.
  • 24 Hide
    Marco925 , April 13, 2010 1:57 AM
    You'd think after the 20000th Launch-shortage that they'd have learned by now.....
Other Comments
  • 28 Hide
    touchdowntexas13 , April 13, 2010 1:50 AM
    I really hope they are dedicating resources (ie some good engineers) to the manufacturing process. Nvidia can't be a big player in the desktop graphics sector if they can't efficiently produce their own hardware.

    For the consumer's sake, I hope Nvidia pulls through strong. Competition is key for us (the consumers). ATI has done a great job with their latest cards, but we need someone to challenge them and challenge them good.
  • 24 Hide
    Marco925 , April 13, 2010 1:57 AM
    You'd think after the 20000th Launch-shortage that they'd have learned by now.....
  • 3 Hide
    zoemayne , April 13, 2010 1:59 AM
    only time will tell
  • 29 Hide
    HansVonOhain , April 13, 2010 2:06 AM
    Cannot wait for 250 dollar 5850.
  • 20 Hide
    amabhy , April 13, 2010 2:22 AM
    Sorry Nvidia, ATI beat you to this one and still is winning.
  • 0 Hide
    mister g , April 13, 2010 2:23 AM
    Just wondering how their low-ends will look when they come out, seeing as they have problems with those I'm thinking >$100.
  • 16 Hide
    the_krasno , April 13, 2010 2:26 AM
    nVidia can have the performance crown for all I care, all I want is bang for the buck and ATI provides it.
  • 16 Hide
    Anonymous , April 13, 2010 2:28 AM
    He's still a crappy CEO.
  • -6 Hide
    nforce4max , April 13, 2010 2:29 AM
    As for fanboy rigs go I got all 3 of them that is right one ATI rig that a I use daily as a workstation while a Nvidia setup with dual 9800gt in sli on a xfx 780i. The third isn't what most expect its a 3DFX glide box with a voodoo5 5500 which is required if one wants to enjoy the classics of the 90s with out being in software mode.

    The song to be playing now about Fermi is Nearer My God To Thee. If Nvidia doesn't pull it around later this generation and next generation it will not be around for much longer before being bought up and operated by someone else.
  • -4 Hide
    The_Prophecy , April 13, 2010 2:31 AM
    Eventually these shortages will drive to the AMD camp (for video cards only though, I'm still an Intel fan in the CPU arena).
  • 7 Hide
    IzzyCraft , April 13, 2010 2:35 AM
    Marco925You'd think after the 20000th Launch-shortage that they'd have learned by now.....

    Naw i think ati and nvidia go for the shortage just to make demand for their cards last longer at higher levels.
    Conspiracy!
  • 20 Hide
    TemjinGold , April 13, 2010 2:38 AM
    "We are working with TSMC really closely. They are doing a fab job."

    Hahaha nvidia CEO cracks a pun there... :D 
  • 20 Hide
    ct1615 , April 13, 2010 2:39 AM
    "Two years ago, I was just fantasizing about it." - it still is since you cant buy any!

    "Huang blames some of the criticism on the fact that Nvidia didn't give reviewers enough time to evaluate the product" - I did not realize the cards ran cooler and used less power over time?!


  • -5 Hide
    micr0be , April 13, 2010 2:43 AM
    "Two years ago, I was just fantasizing about it."

    get a room .... and a reality check
  • 3 Hide
    TomD_1 , April 13, 2010 3:10 AM
    "the next manufacturing transition that it expects to occur in 18 months."

    So thats gtx 580 in 18 months? surely ati will be close to releasing HD7000 series cards by then?
  • 4 Hide
    tamalero , April 13, 2010 3:21 AM
    Man this dude is hilarious, he reminds me of the Information minister of Iraq "we will roast their stomatchs".
  • 1 Hide
    trinix , April 13, 2010 3:26 AM
    "Huang blames some of the criticism on the fact that Nvidia didn't give reviewers enough time to evaluate the product"

    They would have had their reviews done last year but they couldn't get their hands on the green cards. All they could get was red.

    And in 18 months the next die shrink will take place for nvidia. The gt5 or gt6 series (never know with nvidia) will be 40nm. No shrink there, so it should be released within 18 months, I hope for them.
  • 3 Hide
    rhino13 , April 13, 2010 3:36 AM
    I need to start saving some of this spin to a file somewhere.

    I don't know if it'll be as funny ten years down the road as it is now, but it's really good right now!
  • 3 Hide
    Poisoner , April 13, 2010 3:41 AM
    Next manufacturing process they will be die shrinking the 480 and selling it as a new product. 8800/9800/GTS 250 anyone?
  • -5 Hide
    rizky_pratama , April 13, 2010 5:30 AM
    He is proably high on meth lol
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