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Asus: Nvidia GPU Supplies Dropped Further In Q1

Asus
(Image credit: Asus)

Executives from Asus said at the company's recent investor conference that supply of Nvidia's graphics processors dropped in the first quarter. As a consequence, one of the world's largest suppliers of PC hardware expects shortages of graphics cards to persist. Asus believes that under supply might have been caused, among other things, by lower-than-expected yields of Nvidia's latest GPUs.

"The most pressing issue for GPUs right now is the shortage of Nvidia's GPUs," an Asus executive said at the company's latest investor conference. "There was a quarter-over-quarter decrease in shipments [in Q1]. Because of that shortage, we are seeing [graphics cards] price hikes."

Nvidia supplied about 9.1 million of standalone graphics processors for desktop PCs in Q4 2020, about a million more than it shipped in Q4 2019, according to data by Jon Peddie Research. Because of strong demand for PCs and gaming graphics cards in Q3 and Q4 last year, which neither Nvidia nor AMD could meet, the price of graphics cards has skyrocketed. After the prices of cryptocurrencies also soared, demand for GPUs from cryptominers increased also, increasing the prices of graphics cards. At present, it is nearly impossible to get a modern graphics board at its MSRP. 

Asus admits that it cannot estimate what percentage of the graphics cards it sells end up at the hands of cryptominers. On the one hand, it does not make much financial sense to mine Ethereum using GPUs, but on the other hand over the past few months we have seen people mining cryptocurrency using gaming notebooks. Therefore, while the root cause of graphics cards shortages is under supply, miners clearly have an impact on availability of boards in retail. 

From Nvidia's standpoint, the drop of supply in Q1 compared to Q4 makes sense. Fabless chip designers book production capacities quarters in advance. Typically, sales of graphics cards peak in Q3, then drop in Q4, then drop once again in Q1. To that end, when Nvidia made orders for GPU production in Q4 2020 (before demand started to skyrocket), it was illogical for it to increase GPU production in the fourth quarter as it anticipated sales to drop in Q1 2021.  

Asus believes that yields of Nvidia's Ampere GPUs at Samsung Foundry are below anticipated, which limits the company's ability to quickly boost supply even if it has a chance. 

"As for when we will be able to resolve this gap [between supply and demand], it is really hard to tell," an executive from the company said. "Our guess is that the gap might have been caused by lower yields upstream. As for when [Nvidia] can increase that yield is something hard for us to predict."

If Nvidia's Ampere yields at Samsung Foundry are below expectations, this will make  GPU supply even worse and the situation on the market even more uncertain.

  • digitalgriffin
    It is my understanding that nvidia used Samsung because their node was not in demand. In other words, they had excess capacity.

    Maybe Asus is upset they lost favored status on new chips. They have the highest markups of all the board makers.
    Reply
  • VforV
    On the one hand, it does not make much financial sense to mine Ethereum using GPUs
    Considering that the price of crypto is at an all time high and it's been very high for months now, that is either the most stupid thing to say or the most blatant lie!
    What I can't tell from the phrasing is which one said that, Asus or the author of this article. Nevertheless it's a mockery and only fools would fall for that statement.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    digitalgriffin said:
    It is my understanding that nvidia used Samsung because their node was not in demand. In other words, they had excess capacity.
    The more accurate statement is that TSMC was back-ordered too far to make Nvidia's chips in a timely fashion and meaningful volume so Nvidia had effectively no choice but to go with Samsung's inferior 8nm if it wanted to deliver something new in late-2020.

    Much like the main quality of GPUs for the consumer is simply being available for purchase, Samsung's 8nm fabs main qualifying quality is that Samsung had WSPM to sell within the time frame that Nvidia needed them while TSMC didn't. Win by default for Samsung.
    Reply
  • bigdragon
    A lot of people definitely noticed the drop in supply for GPUs this quarter. The 3080 and 3060 Ti almost disappeared -- very rare to see them get restocked. I get this feeling that Nvidia is not going to catch up to demand and will try to keep GPU production lean just in case that crypto bubble suddenly pops. Next month's 3080 Ti launch looks like another disaster waiting to happen.

    Asus has had some of the most egregious markups for the 30-series. They're not a serious option for gamers. Looking for a 30-series GPU to purchase drove me insane, so I stopped. The Asus store problems and wild pricing of Asus 30-series products definitely contributed negatively.
    Reply
  • niion
    It is absolutely ridiculous that this Asus executive is blaming Samsung for graphics card scarcity. This is typical ‘lying you buff off’ Taiwanese strategy and it is disgusting. Semiconductor products are at absolute scarcity right now in every industry including automobiles, computers, bitcoin mining, you name it. Nvidia is also not the only company churning out graphics card. There are other companies such as gigabyte, MSI, Zotac, etc. that Samsung does not supply for yet this sneaky lying Asus CEO blames Samsung for the scarcity, which is just another typical Taiwanese dirty business strategy that is not much different from how Chinese do their business. Taiwan is China. I guess TSMC is getting scared of Samsung.
    Reply
  • Nemesia
    Can they figure their stuff out and please let me buy a GPU close to MSRP? Thanks! :)
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    niion said:
    Nvidia is also not the only company churning out graphics card. There are other companies such as gigabyte, MSI, Zotac, etc. that Samsung does not supply for
    Hm, no. Nvidia gets its RTX3050-3090 chips made by Samsung so every AIB making RTX3xxx cards is using the Samsung-made GA-10x dies on whatever RTX3xxx GPUs they make. A supply problem with Samsung is a supply problem for all RTX3xxx GPUs currently available regardless of what brand is on it.
    Reply
  • niion
    InvalidError said:
    Hm, no. Nvidia gets its RTX3050-3090 chips made by Samsung so every AIB making RTX3xxx cards is using the Samsung-made GA-10x dies on whatever RTX3xxx GPUs they make. A supply problem with Samsung is a supply problem for all RTX3xxx GPUs currently available regardless of what brand is on it.


    Hm, no. There is no supply problem. Samsung is manufacturing as indicated by its customer Nvidia within everyone's chip producing capabilities right now - which is very scarce. Don't blame Samsung unless you have facts and data together. I can say your father is a murderer but that doesn't mean I am right unless I can show proof. Do we have Nvidia's statement that Samsung is not producing as specified? No, Nvidia stated nothing about this matter as they have been receiving their goods as scheduled. Samsung also has made FIRM statement that Samsung has been producing as specified (on their newsroom site after keep hearing BS lying socka crap stories from Taiwanese snakes) and there has been no complaints raised from its customer Nvidia. The shortage comes from lack of resources everywhere that requires chip production, not just in graphics cards. The RTX3xxx series of graphics cards were unavailable even before it was introduced. It was never available from the beginning – mainly thanks to crypto mining!! This is NOT Samsung's fault!!

    Again, this is just another countless and typical Taiwanese BS lies and this time, ASUS is speaking up for TSMC. Clearly TSMC is afraid of the growth of Samsung in the semiconductor capability, and all these greedy and sneaky Taiwanese companies are colluding, raising prices, and trying to blame others for their disgusting business ethic.

    But the reality is that when people like you lie your butt off, customers will know eventually (such like myself), and eventually you will fall. You have to operate with honesty, build and maintain creditability, and battle this semiconductor war with truth and real capabilities, not via colluding and spreading lies. The way Taiwanese companies operate in the OC market, to me, seems no different than communist Chinese tactics.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    niion said:
    Do we have Nvidia's statement that Samsung is not producing as specified? No,
    We have world-wide chip shortages across all industries including ASML which makes chip-making equipment for everyone else. If anyone had a meaningful amount of spare capacity on a relevant process, it would get snatched instantaneously by companies attempting to make headway on their backlogs which are causing companies to shut down entire manufacturing plants due to chip shortages. That wouldn't happen if fabs had their usual 10-20% of spare capacity for rush orders and maintenance swaps.

    If there was any end in sight for their current backlogs, Samsung, TSMC and Intel wouldn't be spending 17-25G$ each on brand-new fabs, they'd be upgrading existing ones instead. Can't shut down a fab for upgrades when it is operating at near-100% with nowhere to shift production to.
    Reply
  • niion
    InvalidError said:
    We have world-wide chip shortages across all industries including ASML which makes chip-making equipment for everyone else. If anyone had a meaningful amount of spare capacity on a relevant process, it would get snatched instantaneously by companies attempting to make headway on their backlogs which are causing companies to shut down entire manufacturing plants due to chip shortages. That wouldn't happen if fabs had their usual 10-20% of spare capacity for rush orders and maintenance swaps.

    If there was any end in sight for their current backlogs, Samsung, TSMC and Intel wouldn't be spending 17-25G$ each on brand-new fabs, they'd be upgrading existing ones instead. Can't shut down a fab for upgrades when it is operating at near-100% with nowhere to shift production to.


    NVIDIA has made FIRM STATEMENT that there ARE absolutely NO issues with Samsung’s production of RTX3XXX series GPU chips. NVIDIA has denied ASUS CEO’s ridiculous accusation.


    NVIDIA’s CEO Jensen Huang stated the current shortage is purely due to substantial increase in demand and Samsung has been producing as scheduled and as specified on the original contract. Jensen Huang is biologically Taiwanese, but he has high view on Samsung’s engineering capability. He has stated himself that Samsung’s 8nm process has been proven high quality, and stated Samsung will continue to work on future generation of GPU as well.

    Consequently, NVIDIA has also ordered additional schedule of deliveries from Samsung very recently. If there were problems from Samsung’s GPU product, NVIDIA would never have ordered more from Samsung, but they have.

    ASUS CEO blaming graphics cards shortage to Samsung’s inability to sufficiently produce RTX3XXX GPUs is absolutely malicious in every way possible. As stated above, NVIDIA states there are no issues with Samsung. In return, Samsung states they have heard no complaints from NVIDIA. ASUS CEO is basically stating Samsung can’t handle the production, so the reason for shortage, and the work should be sent to somewhere else (TSMC). This is colluding, lying, slandering Samsung to gain benefit.

    In 2020, Nvidia introduced RTX3000 series of cards which increased its capability substantially while reducing power consumption. This was a big news on the computer industry and expectation was high. The GPU chip was to be manufactured by Samsung’s 8nm process and the industry took notice on Samsung’s capability in producing such GPU.

    But, TSMC and Taiwan’s semiconductor thugs have been very jealous of this and have been reacting very poorly with disgrace. This is somewhat understanding as Taiwan itself relies almost entirely on semiconductor revenue. Without it, Taiwan is in trouble. If Samsung surpasses TSMC, the result could potentially be significant economic hit to Taiwan.

    Obviously TSMC is frightened of Samsung right now. They have people like you and Tom's Hardware (a Canadian tech media with heavy support from Taiwanese funding) doing all it can to spread articles of slandering and down playing Samsung’s products and technology while hyping up Taiwanese goods. This is how you Taiwanese (and Chinese) have been doing business for the past decades (from my honest observation). Ever since Samsung has decided to get serious on semiconductors and began gaining new contracts with companies such as Nvidia and Intel, TSMC has been absolutely fearful of losing its top spot in the semiconductor manufacturing sector and TSMC has been doing everything and anything it can to spread derogatory lies about Samsung, and slandering Samsung’s semiconductor capability.

    But now Samsung is taking actions.

    Samsung has been tolerant to ASUS’ ridiculous numerous accusations in the past and the recent dirty deed by ASUS CEO has gone way too far. Samsung will sue Asus for Patent Infringement violations. Samsung will also sue colluding partner JOLED (Japanese display technology firm) in partnering on the infringement in which Samsung has many proofs in the matter.

    Samsung has used its most resourceful team of specialists in assessing every single ASUS’ display manufacturing process. Samsung has found all patent infringements ASUS’ violated and reported to US International Trade Commission (ITC). In addition, Samsung has requested cease of import of ASUS monitors that are infringing on Samsung patents. ITC has begun its investigation on March 25, 2021, and ITC has stated it will be very difficult for ASUS to escape Samsung's lawsuit.

    Samsung has been involved with countless patent infringement law suits in the past in both sides. Samsung never sues anyone unless they know they have a strong case to win with strong proof. They do not waste time on pointless lawsuits unlike many other tech firms out there. ASUS will have a law suit they will need to defend. This will be a very expensive law suit for ASUS as they have sold millions of monitors infringing on Samsung patents. And again, in the process of ASUS patent infringement research, Samsung discovered JOLED was also colluding and infringing with ASUS.

    Additionally, the US now very well know that relying 50% or more of the world's semiconductor needs to TSMC is EXTREMEMLY risky matter that we all need to step away from. TSMC has issues with Chinese information theft, a shortage of water supply due to drought (significant water usage required in semiconductor), frequent earthquake causing factory closure, and recent events such as fire in the factory are just the recent interruptions that are causing problems for all of its customers relying on TSMC.

    The cost of ASUS CEO blabbering his mouth blaming, accusing, slandering Samsung will be very high. It will be interesting in the next 1 to 3 years.
    Reply