Speaking at the Credit Suisse digital financial services conference, Nvidia Chief Financial Officer Colette Kress addressed and partially explained the recent shortages of the company’s new RTX 30-series graphics cards like the GeForce RTX 3080 and 3070.
She confirmed that wafer shortages at chip supplier Samsung Foundry are a factor, as many have speculated, but also suggested there is more to it than that. Said Kress:
We do have supply constraints, and our supply constraints do expand past what we’re seeing in terms of wafers and silicon, but yes, some constraints are in substrates and components. We continue to work during the quarter on our supply, and we believe, though, that demand will probably exceed supply in Q4 for overall gaming.
She also said that it might be “a couple months” before Nvidia can catch up to demand, but qualified even that by saying “at this time, it’s really difficult for us to quantify.”
Interest and demand across almost every part of the gaming industry has soared in 2020, presumably as people spend more time at home pursuing hobbies, when they would have previously (in the pre-pandemic world) been out and about. But at the same time, COVID-19 has impacted supply lines for electronics companies. These two factors together have led to many situations where demand has outstripped supply for gaming products like video cards or consoles.
Even early in the pandemic, long before the new 30-series RTX cards launched, Nintendo Switch consoles became scarce at retailers around the world because Nintendo struggled to keep up with a sudden, unexpected surge in demand this spring. And like Nvidia’s RTX cards, the newly launched PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S game consoles have sold out near-instantly any time they’ve become available from online retailers, leaving many would-be buyers frustrated.
“We would characterize the launch and what we’re seeing as overwhelming demand,” Kress said. “Each day, things continue to improve. But before the end of the quarter, we’ll be able to provide some more information.”
Listing image by Sam Machkovech