The American designer of graphics chips could spend a total of 6.9 billion dollars to save wafers in 5 nm. the aim ? Make sure you take advantage of the best manufacturing nodes to stay ahead.
If the current generation of Nvidia GPUs in California is manufactured by Samsung at 8nm, then the next generation of GeForce will come out of TSMC’s factories. And Nvidia has put its hand in the wallet to take advantage of Taiwan’s finest 5nm engraving, which is already benefiting Apple and Qualcomm.
According to the Chinese site MyDrivers, which is well-informed about most Asian deals, Nvidia has already put 1. 1.64 billion on the table and the global deal is worth 6. 6.9 billion.
If the opacity of the industry makes it difficult to gauge the scale of these deals, what we do know here is that the wafer reserve money – the silicone wafers on which the chips are engraved – comes from Apple, Qualcomm, AMD and other media tech. There are more. Spend to access this technology.
Because if Nvidia is really the champion of PCs and data center GPUs, then it is a “small” player in terms of volume and manufacturing node anyway. While AMD has been writing 7nm (via TSMC) for many years now, the RTX 3000 GPUs are “only” at 8nm. And only target PCs, while other players are targeting larger markets.
5 nm to maintain lead over AMD and Intel
Aside from the chip delivery issues that make it difficult to find Radeon chips, from a technical standpoint, AMD took a break of more than 24 months on Nvidia. First with the Radeon 5700 XT, then the 6700/6800/6900 XT, AMD has proven that its RDNA 2 architecture is under its control.
Of course, Nvidia PC is the king of the world with more than 80% market share and more advanced technologies (especially DLSS and ray tracing), but this gap has narrowed considerably in the last two years.
Mastering Samsung’s 8nm to 5nm node via TSMC for 18 months will give Nvidia a big leap in transistor density and energy efficiency – the last point being the current generation Achilles heel.
If Nvidia is putting its hand in its pocket, then the crown of the king of GPUs is on your head. This will be very important in 2022 because not only AMD and its RDNA 3 (also in 5 nm) but also Intel and its Alchemist chip should come in the market this year. Switching from a two-way market to a three-way scrum requires Nvidia to do what it takes to maintain its advantage. Because unlike the other two, the “king” of GPUs does not produce CPUs and APUs (or very few).