With graphics chip sales up approximately 40% in the fourth quarter, compared to the previous quarter, coupled to a roll-out of new GPU’s at the 40nm node, AMD executives conceded in a confernace call with financial analysts that it could have shipped a lot more chips in the fourth quarter if it had not been capacity constrained at foundry supplier, TSMC.
Dirk Meyer, AMD’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said in response to a query on constraints at TSMC, “We were heavily constrained in the quarter and we could have done a lot more business were we not so… I don’t want to get granular other than to say we’re seeing progress, both in terms of delivery of wafers and underlying yields. But we’re constrained today.”
A majority of GPU shipments were for its 55nm-based DX10 capable IC’s but the yield problems at TSMC at the 40nm node also impacted shipments of its DX11 capable GPU’s, AMD executives noted.
Lead times have of course extended but Meyer was quick to clarify that they had seen improvements in yield, lead times and an easing in capacity availability. However, this will take several quarters to see meaningful improvements.
TSMC recently noted that it had resolved yield issues with its 40nm process and is also expanding capacity for leading-edge nodes at two 300mm fabs to meet demand.