When all nVidia did was graphic chips for graphic cards, there was always a decent amount of production capacity available in the world. Now that it's busy pioneering in the phone sector – the numbers have caught Jen Hsun's gang out. They need more and they're gasping for it. KitGuru has a look under the sheets to see what's required for total satisfaction.
There has been a lot of talk recently about processes, confidence, shrinkage and capacity.
TSMC is one of the biggest and more advanced manufacturing operations in the world. For many years, it was the weapon supplier to both nVidia and ATI/AMD for the GeForce/Radeon processors that gamers across the world desired for fast-action gaming. Now that the market (for nVidia, at least) is moving toward mobile phone chips – can TSMC keep up with demand?
The gap in numbers between graphic cards and phones is huge. In the UK alone, 2012 will see the sale of millions of smartphones – while the total market for graphic cards (in stores as well as pre-installed in locally built PCs), is highly unlikely to touch 600,000.
One of the solutions to this gap in demand/supply, is to make chips faster and faster.
TSMC is doing its bit here, by building bigger and better FABrication plants as fast as its builders will allow. But that might not be enough.
Word into KitGuru from Rick Merritt at EETimes is that when nVidia CEO Jen Hsun Huang discusses solutions to the problems of tomorrow with smart cookies like Sameer Halepete, VP for VLSI engineering at Nvidia, then he's demanding something much bigger in the silicon department.
KitGuru says: With Samsung and IBM pushing money into fabrication the way a phat Guru of the Kit pushes marshmallows into his waiting mouth, what does the future of mobile chip production hold for nVidia and TSMC? Can Samsung make its ‘total supply and production chain control' stick?
Comment below or in the KitGuru forums.