Manufacturers of graphics cards are taking a measured approach to the arrival of next-generation of graphics processors, according to a story by DigiTimes. The site reports that "most" card makers based in Taiwan are being more cautious than they’ve been with past launches, and it cites two contributing factors.
First, the manufacturers reportedly worry that TSMC will run into yield issues with its 28-nm process, just as the company did two years ago with the first batch of 40-nm products. On top of that, DigiTimes claims graphics card makers have seen their sales shrink lately—both at the low end, where CPUs with integrated graphics are replacing cheap discrete GPUs, and at the high end. (I’m guessing the stagnating hardware requirements for modern games don’t help there.)
The site doesn’t go into detail about the effects of this added caution on the part of the card makers. Perhaps we’ll end up seeing fewer coolers emblazoned with cyborg frogs and fewer variants of identical cards—and that would be fine by me. Coupled with rumors that supply of 28-nm Radeons will initially be limited, though, this report doesn’t sound terribly encouraging.