Report: 55-nm graphics chips are in short supply


— 9:33 AM on October 5, 2009

Shopping for a DirectX 10 graphics card? You might have to look harder than usual—and potentially pay more, as well. DigiTimes brings word that 55-nm graphics processors are in tight supply, yet both AMD and Nvidia are too concerned with their 40-nm, DirectX 11 products to do anything about it.

The site quotes Taiwan's Commercial Times, which itself got the information from "sources in the retail channel," as saying the shortage of 55-nm graphics chips may last all the way through the first quarter of next year.

Nvidia, for one, reportedly wants to avoid an inventory surplus of current-gen products, so DigiTimes says it "currently does not plan to increase its GT200 series GPU supply." (The 55-nm GT200b chip powers GeForce GTX 260 and 275 cards on the desktop.) However, the company's DirectX 11 graphics processor may not arrive until next year.

We reported in our Radeon HD 5870 review that AMD plans to introduce $100-200 DirectX 11 cards based on the new Juniper GPU before the end of the year. Throw in Hemlock, a dual-GPU monster also scheduled for this quarter, and AMD should have a reasonably meaty DirectX 11 lineup in time for Christmas. We'll have to see whether Juniper-based cards are widely available soon after launch, though.

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