Here’s some more bad news for PC enthusiasts hoping to upgrade or build a new system packing the latest technology. Upstream supply chain sources have told Taiwan’s DigiTimes that, due to technical difficulties, there is an insufficient supply of components for AMD Radeon RX Vega graphics cards.
There is some debate about what particular component(s) and issues are affecting the output. Some sources say that the process of integrating high bandwidth memory (HBM) into the GPU “has significantly raised the difficulty of the related packaging process and hence resulted in low yield rates.” Meanwhile there are others that claim the shortages are due to technical issues with Advanced Semiconductor Engineering’s (ASE) packaging technology.
ASE receives Radeon RX Vega GPUs manufactured on GlobalFoundries’ 14nm FinFET manufacturing process, plus HBM2 memory from SK Hynix and Samsung Electronics, then packages them using its SiP technology, explains DigiTimes.
When quizzed, AMD didn’t point to such technical considerations, but simply stated that demand has exceeded expectations. Of course a tech company would prefer to boast that shortages are due to it becoming a victim of its own success, and the unforeseen desirability of its new products, rather than some technical/planning blunder.
According to AMD, the current shortage should be rectified with quantities of Vega product expected to be pushed out in “the coming days,” as it works closely with partners to address demand. That’s more upbeat than the mutterings of supply chain sources who reckon the limited supply of Vega GPUs could mean shortages until October.
Nvidia Volta consumer launch pushed back
In a footnote to the AMD RX Vega supply issues news, DigiTimes notes that the competitive challenge from Vega hasn’t been as forceful as expected by Nvidia. Thus, it says, Nvidia Volta-based GPUs for PC enthusiasts and gamers have been pushed back from Q4 2017 to Q1 2018.