Samsung is well known for being one of the larger and more trusted names when it comes to making memory and various components. PC gamers have long accepted an expectation of premium quality from Samsung products. So hearing that Nvidia and Samsung are working on an improved 8nm process for future Ampere GPUs is good news for everyone.
The deal was just announced this week as various outlets have reported on it. The two companies have inked a new GPU manufacturing deal that will take advantage of the 8 nm process node that Samsung has helped pioneer. All of the current GPUs—those being the RTX 3080, RTX 3090, RTX 3070, and RTX 3060 Ti—use the 8 nm node.
As per the report, Samsung has already begun working on the background details. Let’s clear up some things though. For one thing, this won’t have any major impact on GPU availability for some time. Both AMD and NVIDIA have been hit by GDDR6 supply shortages across the board. The combination of COVID-19 and new technology growing pains are pretty rough.
This also does not translate to a new 30-series launch just yet. Although gamers are eagerly waiting for the budget option based on the current 3060 Ti, there may be a few months wait until we hear news about a new GPU in the product stack. So you’re going to have to wait until 2021 to get that new GPU it seems.
Nvidia is already in a strong position against rival AMD when it comes to GPUs. The popularity of 20-series and RTX 30-series cards has led to major stock shortages, which have been routinely blamed on a lack of usable memory chips for these devices. This new deal might make that bottleneck a bit less restrictive. Though the turnaround time on the supply means that specialty DRAM will still be in tight supply in 2021.
According to a recent report coming via The Korea Economic Daily (KED), the deal may help reduce strain on the relationship between the two companies. There have been issues that have been felt by consumers, causing strain. Many have suspect that 8 nm process yield rates have been way below expectations. Many have suspected that Nvidia would hand over primary production responsibilities to TSMC, as the other big name in the space.
Seeing Nvidia jump to TSMC, which also works with AMD, would be a pretty big blow to Samsung. Who despite strong sales in various markets, does make a fair amount of revenue from their contracted manufacturing. The current estimated value of the Samsung contract to produce GPUs “worth hundreds of billions of won.” That translates to hundreds of millions of US dollars.
This latest step in the battle for microarchitecture supremacy continues apace though, despite production issues. Samsung has been working hard to innovate past the 8 nm node, even introducing a new 7 nm node based on extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography technology.