Due to rising demand for PCs and PC components as well as disrupted supply chains, many high-tech products are hard to get these days. Gamers and PC enthusiasts are among the most vocal audiences, which is why Nvidia's GeForce RTX 30-series graphics cards are notorious for their short supply. This was highlighted by Nvidia in a recent webcast.
Nvidia does not deny that it cannot supply enough of its latest add-in-boards (AIB) because of overwhelming demand and because it cannot get enough wafers with chips from its partner Samsung Foundry. The company admits that there are constraints beyond chip supply, so the issue with shortages is indeed very complicated.
"We do have supply constraints and our supply constraints do expand past what we are seeing in terms of wafers and silicon, but yes some constrains are in substrates and components," said Colette Kress, CFO of Nvidia, at Credit Suisse 24th Annual Technology Conference. "We continue to work during the quarter on our supply and we believe though that demand will probably exceed supply in Q4 for overall gaming."
The chief financial officer of Nvidia did not disclose which other components are in short supply and the nature of constraints beyond chips. PC makers have already complained about complicated logistics and even warned that they will have to compete for air cargo space with pharma companies in the coming months.
For Nvidia, 'overall gaming' are desktop graphics cards, GPUs for laptops, and SoCs for game consoles like Nintendo's Switch or Nvidia's own Shield. On the desktop side of matters, it is obvious that there are not enough GeForce RTX 3070/3080/3090 graphics cards on the market. There are no GeForce RTX 30-series for laptops just yet, but lead times for high-end gaming notebooks are getting longer.
Getting additional wafers from Samsung Foundry is tricky since semiconductor manufacturing capacity is usually booked well in advance and it is unclear whether the contract maker of semiconductors has enough spare capacity to increase production for Nvidia overnight.
The company remains generally optimistic about its abilities to solve supply challenges and believes that while GeForce RTX 30-series availability constraints will continue for a while, it will be able to disclose more information about its the situation before the end of its fiscal quarter, which closes in late January.
"We do expect it probably to take a couple months for it to catch up to demand, but at this time, it is really difficult for us to quantify," said Kress. "So, we stay focused on trying to get our parts to the market for this very important holiday season. Each day things continue to improve. But before the end of the quarter, we will be able to provide some more information."