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AMD's Azor: No Ampere-Like Shortages for RX 6000

AMD Radeon RX 6000
(Image credit: AMD)

Nowadays, the other big topic besides Nvidia's GeForce RTX 30-series (codename Ampere) graphics card is their lack of availability at retailers. The GeForce RTX 3080 and RTX 3090 might be two of the fastest gaming graphics cards right now, but they're worthless if consumers can't buy them.

We suspect there was a short supply for Ampere in the first place, and to make matters even worse, scalpers were using bots to pick up every GeForce RTX 3080 in sight to later flip them on eBay for outrageous prices. You know the shortage is real when Nvidia came out yesterday and confessed that the GeForce RTX 3090's supply was going to be scarce as well. 

Frank Azor, Chief Architect of Gaming Solutions at AMD, took to Twitter to have some fun. Twitter user @AndreElijah wrote "Welp... not being able to pick up a 3090 today means my work is going to be [bleeped] for the next little bit. Can they at least release a new Quadro so I can get my work done? $10 says AMD will be a paper launch too." Azor snapped back with a witty remark saying "I look forward to taking your $10 :)"

(Image credit: Twitter)

Azor's statement implies that supply for AMD's next-generation Radeon RX 6000 (popularly known as "Big Navi") won't be an issue, and we believe him. Nvidia took a big gamble by picking Samsung to fabricate the Ampere dies for the GeForce RTX 30-series graphics cards. Samsung basically tailored its 8nm manufacturing process to Nvidia's requirements. The 8N Nvidia process node is technically new, and we suspect the yields might not be that great, meaning the process could require time to mature. 

AMD, on the other hand, intelligently taps into TSMC's proven 7nm FinFET manufacturing process. Although it's not confirmed yet, the Radeon RX 6000 should still be based on the 7nm process node with a last reported defect density of 0.09 defects per square centimeter. Rumors have it that the Navi 21 silicon, the one that's speculated to power the Radeon RX 6900, could have a die size of 505mm square. Assuming that TSMC's defect density has improved since the last report and the die size for Navi 21 is accurate, AMD could be reaping a yield rate close to 65% for Navi 21, which isn't too bad.

The fight between the Radeon RX 6000-series and GeForce RTX 30-series will surely be interesting. If Big Navi is able to match Ampere in both performance and pricing, availability will ultimately determine the final winner.

  • warezme
    This is all nice and all but exactly when is Big Navi 6000 supposed to be released and for sale?
    Reply
  • spongiemaster
    $10 there won't be Ampere-like demand for these either. Regardless, still not a smart thing for AMD to be saying. Just sounds like a challenge to the bot users. Unless retailers suddenly figured out how to combat bots, it won't be any different than Ampere.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    Between the Xbox SS+SX, the PS5, Navi 1x+2x and Zen 2+3 CPUs+APUs, I am highly skeptical of AMD's claims of having no supply issues.

    We'll see how that pans out in a few months.
    Reply
  • hotaru.hino
    spongiemaster said:
    $10 there won't be Ampere-like demand for these either. Regardless, still not a smart thing for AMD to be saying. Just sounds like a challenge to the bot users. Unless retailers suddenly figured out how to combat bots, it won't be any different than Ampere.
    I have a feeling since AMD cards were historically better for mining, if word gets out that RDNA2 is much better than Ampere, the miners will flock to these cards. If not the scalpers looking for yet another "investment"
    Reply
  • damfs
    warezme said:
    This is all nice and all but exactly when is Big Navi 6000 supposed to be released and for sale?
    some leaks say that the reviews will be released on Nov 7th , and the sell starts on Nov 11th
    Reply
  • d0x360
    nvidia didn't take a gamble using Samsung lol... Samsung gave them a huge discount because everyone wants tsmc and Samsung is basically running at 25% capacity while tsmc is booked solid through 2022. Samsung NEEDED someone to use their fab and they could have easily made enough 3080s for everyone but nVidia kept the order small because Samsung's 8nm sucks.
    Reply
  • Chung Leong
    Hard to see how their cards can reach stores in time for Black Friday/Cyber Monday. That does reduce the chance of shortages, I suppose.
    Reply
  • russell_john
    d0x360 said:
    nvidia didn't take a gamble using Samsung lol... Samsung gave them a huge discount because everyone wants tsmc and Samsung is basically running at 25% capacity while tsmc is booked solid through 2022. Samsung NEEDED someone to use their fab and they could have easily made enough 3080s for everyone but nVidia kept the order small because Samsung's 8nm sucks.

    As an Electrical Engineer that has been working and designing with devices from Samsung's 8nm node for over 18 months you are full of sh*t ....... Every Samsung phone since 1st Q 2019 has been using a SoC from that node ......

    As you note TSMCs 7nm node is booked solid and they can't even keep up with SoCs for Sony and Microsoft or Renoir CPUs for AMD and you have the Zen 3 line releasing so where the hell do you think AMD is going to find production time for a yet unproven GPU? Pull it out of Azor's behind?

    As an AMD stockholder since 2009 I think AMD would be fools to push aside their proven money makers (Consoles SoCs and Zen CPUs) to make room for what is still a niche market share for them ...... Maybe next year after they have satisfied demand for their proven technology but yet this year? Don't count on it
    Reply
  • tslot05qsljgo9ed
    Update this article (and title) to show that Frank has denied making any supply guarantees.

    Update: Frank has denied making any supply guarantees. The bet was only about it not being a paper launch. Because of this, we aren't sure what the bet was all about because NVIDIA launched with some volume as well - and technically wasn't a paper launch either.

    Quotes:


    Frank Azor

    Lol, I didn't say all that. You're hilarious. Appreciate the coverage and compliments though.



    Usman Pirzada

    Not sure I follow

    RTX 30 isnt a paper launch too. It's just supply constrained. So what exactly did you bet for? PM? Ps: I'll add this tweet in as well.


    Frank Azor

    Not exactly. We'll discuss more after we actually launch. Talk is cheap right now, back to work.

    I disagree. But sure. By that logic nvidia isn't a paper launch either. The distinction only lies in volume and that is clearly what the OG tweeter intended as well. If you bet it won't be a paper launch "like NVIDIA" - then you are emphasizing volume. Not the launch type.
    Reply
  • digitalgriffin
    warezme said:
    This is all nice and all but exactly when is Big Navi 6000 supposed to be released and for sale?
    I'm guessing 1 to 4 days after announcement (Nov 1)

    65% yield seems low. But you can sell cut down versions to recover some of those depending on where the defect is located. (ie: in a redundant cu)
    Reply