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The semiconductor shortages have affected every industry this year from consumer and server computers to automotive and embedded systems. As such, it’s no surprise that interviews with the CEO of a major chipmaker ultimately lead to this discussion. Talking to Barron’s the other day, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su shared her opinions on the matter and her expectations from the coming months.
Looking at the first quarter of 2021, the situation is more or less the same as late 2020. The supply of higher-end parts such as the Ryzen 9 5900X/5950X is still rather poor with the Ryzen 5 and Ryzen 7 barely going for the MSRPs. In comparison, Intel’s 11th Gen Rocket Lake processors are relatively cheaper than their Zen 3 rivals, primarily because the company makes its own chips. The situation in the graphics card market is also rather dire, although prices have most certainly started to inch closer to the MSRPs.
According to Dr. Su, the situation will vary from segment to segment, but the deficit of components is expected to continue until the very end of the year. As for 2020, it’ll depend on the market demand and how much the manufacturing capacity is improved over the coming months. However, not all is gloom and doom. As we’ve seen over the last few weeks, the supply and prices of CPUs and GPUs have been rapidly returning to normal.
She stated that AMD is working hard to increase the production capacity every quarter, and hopes to catch up with demand by the holiday season. The supply of the budget and upper midrange Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards (6700 XT) should see a marked improvement in the coming months, followed by the Ryzen 9 SKUs. The higher-end Navi 21-based products won’t return to MSRP anytime before Q4.
AMD is expected to launch the 6nm-based Rembrandt mobile APUs and the Warhol (Ryzen 5000 XT) desktop processors, as well as the 3D V-NAND based Ryzen processors sometime in early 2022. The latter should retain the AM4 socket and DDR4 memory while the former will take advantage of LPDDR5 memory.