MSI confirms RTX 2080 Ti supply issues – Nvidia doesn’t supply enough chips to AIB partners

MSI confirms RTX 2080 Ti supply issues - Nvidia doesn't supply enough 2080 Ti chips to AIBs

RTX 2080 Ti in tight supply confirms MSI  

Since launch Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Ti graphics card has been in tight supply, with highly sought after models being out of stock at most major retailers, despite their high pricing.

In an interview with MSI representatives, PConline was able to discuss the RTX 2080 Ti’s supply issues, confirming that graphics card shipments are indeed tight. This can be due to two major factors, the first of which is reported yield issues on Nvidia’s large GPU dies on TSMC’s 12nm process. The quote below is from PConline (translated from Chinese), which itself is paraphrasing the comments of MSI’s Deputy General Manager of MSI Global, Liao Wei. It remains unclear whether Mr Wei commented on silicon yields or chip supply directly, or if these were the thoughts of PConline’s writer. 


On this issue, Mr. Liao Wei said that the RTX 2080 graphics card shipment is still relatively smooth,
and the RTX 2080 Ti is indeed tight. After all, it is because the GPU core area of this RTX series
graphics card has never been larger, which makes the yield of the production core of TSMC down.
Therefore, NVIDIA does not supply much RTX 2080 Ti chips to each AIC.

As chips get larger, it becomes more likely to contain defects, making the silicon unusable, or in some way sub-optimal. Imagine that a single silicon wafer has around 20 defects and that that wafer can be used to create a maximum of 200 chip. If these defects are far apart, it is likely that 20 chips are defective, leaving 180 chips without any problems. In this example, 90% of chips are defect-free. If you start making larger chips, let’s say a chip that is two times larger and produces 100 chip per wafer, and that we have the same 20 defects. Following the same logic as before, with defects being equally distributed over the silicon wafer, we have 20 defective chips and an 80% yield.

The numbers above are not indicative of real-world yield rates, though they hopefully create a clearer picture. The long and short of it is that larger chips are more likely to be defective and suffer from low yield rates. This means that the cost of each silicon wafer has to be divided over a smaller number of chips. Nvidia RT 2080 Ti is the largest GTX series graphics card that Nvidia has ever produced, which is why Nvidia is likely to be suffering from low yield rates, something which may improve over time as Nvidia and TSMC optimise their manufacturing process.     

MSI also stated that Nvidia’s RTX series graphics cards are also a lot more complex than their last-generation counterparts, with the GTX 1080 Ti having over 1600 parts, while an RTX 2080 has around 2,400 and the RTX 2080 Ti has over 2,600 parts. This increase in complexity makes Nvidia’s RTX series graphics cards more difficult to produce, increasing the time that it takes to manufacture each graphics card. 

MSI confirms RTX 2080 Ti supply issues - Nvidia doesn't supply enough 2080 Ti chips to AIBs  

So why are there stock issues for Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Ti graphics cards? Firstly, there doesn’t seem to be enough RTX 2080 Ti silicon to meet retail demand, and secondly that each graphics card requires more manufacturing time to produce, creating an extended time lag between silicon availability and GPU shipments.  

Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Ti supply woes will likely disappear over time, especially if the company can improve their manufacturing yields and increase their supply of RTX series chips to their AIB partners. Such supply constraints are normal for new graphics hardware, especially after the 2 year gap between the release of the GTX 10 and RTX 20 series GPUs. 

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