Nvidia will continue to put the bulk of its silicon orders in the hands of the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing company for the foreseeable future, according to a report from DigiTimes (via TomsHardware and TechPowerUp). It looks like the company is diversifying a bit, too, putting some orders in with Samsung.
DigiTimes says that Nvidia has filed an order with TSMC for a significant order of silicon built on the company’s 7-nm process for its Ampere GPUs. The GPU giant has also locked down TSMC’s 5-nm capacity for 2021, which will most likely go toward the next generation of cards, reportedly code-named Hopper.
Nvidia’s current Turing GPU architecture
Samsung, meanwhile, will reportedly handle Ampere cards toward the lower end of the product line with its 7-nm or 8-nm processes.
Tom’s Hardware notes that TSMC will likely be busy with Apple’s 5-nm ARM CPUs and AMD’s rumored 5-nm Ryzen 5000 CPUs, so it makes sense that the company will want to get its production schedule nailed down well ahead of time.
Throwing a wrench into all this, of course, is COVID-19. Nvidia will reveal its Ampere chips at its digital GPU Technical Conference this Thursday, May 14. The reveal likely will not be for the GPUs that us home users will be buying, but for enterprise-grade stuff. The company will focus on “breakthroughs in AI, deep learning, autonomous vehicles, robotics, and professional graphics.” Ampere consumer GPUs will likely be revealed in the third quarter of the year, but it’s hard to say with certainty that things will move on schedule. COVID-19 continues to affect development, manufacturing, and retail in many industries, and it’s not hard to imagine things like Nvidia’s upcoming cards getting delayed, too, but we won’t know until later into the summer and fall.