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Nvidia to shift RTX 30 GPUs to TSMC 7nm in 2021, says report

by Mark Tyson on 14 October 2020, 13:11

Tags: NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA), Samsung (005935.KS), TSMC

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaeox2

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Taiwan's DigiTimes has published a report about the tidal wave of orders at TSMC, which it reckons will push the contract chipmaker's revenues, and equipment investments, to new heights. Huawei coming under US Sanctions in mid-September left a 14 per cent revenue hole in TSMC's books but thanks to pent up demand, TSMC has plugged that hole with an influx of orders and it is thought its previously stated annual revenue growth target of 20 per cent will be easily achieved.

The DigiTimes story, in Traditional Chinese, talks a little about orders with the likes of Apple and Sony before it adds into the mix some interesting insider info concerning TSMC's dealings with Nvidia. In brief, it asserts that Nvidia is looking to switch GPUs.

The Nvidia portion of the report relays that Nvidia signed up to product GeForce RTX 30 series GPUs using Samsung's 8nm production facilities as it received a "considerable contract discount," on this business. At least some of this business will be shifted to TSMC in 2021, asserts the source. This will account for a "large number of orders," for TSMC and help it maintain a very high capacity utilisation in 2021.

Consumer Nvidia Ampere currently on Samsung 8nm

Elsewhere in the report it is claimed that Nvidia previously planned to spread the production of its Ampere GPUs across both Samsung and TSMC for better risk management. If you remember back to mid-May when the Ampere architecture and the A100 GPU for data analytics, scientific computing and cloud graphics was launched, it was confirmed that this serious GPU was fabricated on TSMC 7nm. The latest DigiTimes report appears to says that Nvidia RTX 30 GPUs will be joining the pro-grade GPUs on TSMC 7nm.

Professional Nvidia Ampere GPUs currently use the TSMC N7 process

It will be interesting to see if the new TSMC made RTX 30 series will be marketed as 'Super' cards or form the foundation for a complete refresh. It is possible that mid-to-lower-end GeForce Ampere GPUs will still be fabricated by Samsung.

N.B. I found the Microsoft Bing translation of the DigiTimes segment about Nvidia to be clearer than the Google one.



HEXUS Forums :: 26 Comments

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IF the TSMC cards perform closer to what was originally expected, another kick to Samsungs capabilities on this front…
First thoughts - If Samsung gave a considerable discount does moving to 7nm TSMC mean a higher price for the graphics card….

It is possible that mid-to-lower-end GeForce Ampere GPUs will still be fabricated by Samsung.
It could go the other way imo, TSMC does the higher volume ‘low end’ cards, even more so if Samsung is having yield issues like has been reported.

Got to be honest, this cluster **** of a rtx3xxx release is completely screwing up any potential plans to upgrade at the start of the new year…

Nvidia have stopped selling founders edition (I want a founders card) on their website and are now only selling via best buy in the US, nowhere in the EU let alone UK. I really wish I could use an AMD card because honestly, if the ‘leaks’ are true, I'd grab an AMD one without any hesitation if it wasn't for my software only supporting cuda.
Makes me want to wait. Oh well, virtual flying will have to wait as well :p
LSG501
First thoughts - If Samsung gave a considerable discount does moving to 7nm TSMC mean a higher price for the graphics card….

It could go the other way imo, TSMC does the higher volume ‘low end’ cards, even more so if Samsung is having yield issues like has been reported.

Got to be honest, this cluster **** of a rtx3xxx release is completely screwing up any potential plans to upgrade at the start of the new year…

Nvidia have stopped selling founders edition (I want a founders card) on their website and are now only selling via best buy in the US, nowhere in the EU let alone UK. I really wish I could use an AMD card because honestly, if the ‘leaks’ are true, I'd grab an AMD one without any hesitation if it wasn't for my software only supporting cuda.

Undoubtedly it means higher prices, they would have to manage two different sets of yields (memory is Samsung) from two different foundries for whichever products they decide to produce on different processes. I can't see that being cheaper, even with good yields when you're talking volumes of any product the costs can increase massively (also the other way). Then there will also be the question of which process uses less power etc.

Nvidia have fluffed the launch of the 3xxx series, including the issues people are having with unstable drivers etc. Adding into that their decision to halt sales of founders edition cards on their main site (because Digital River are incapable of countering bots), it makes you wonder who they “may” decide to partner with in the EU countries and the UK to sell the founders edition card. Personally I think it was a decision so they could concentrate on getting US customers cards while they also fix supply issues to AIBs / System builders etc. Either way, with this news, now is not the time to purchase one.
All this screams to me is that faith in Samsungs 8nm process is limited from Nvidias front. I suspect that when 7nm failed to deliver in Samsung, the shift to 8nm was open but Nvidia tried to claw back into TSMC but they said not on your nelly on that timeline. So Nvidia was forced to suck up a bad node into their portfolio while trying their hardest to get back onto the superior TSMC 7nm node for their enterprise grade GPUs.

On top of that, it looks like the 8nm process is not conducive to an architecture sat in DL pod, it's too warm and needs too much power.