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40-nm yields have stabilized, AMD says

Cyril Kowaliski
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Are the dismal shortages afflicting AMD’s Radeon HD 5800-series graphics cards behind us for good? We checked availability last week and found a healthy number of cards in stock, but prices were still inflated, and we weren’t sure if we were looking at a brief rainshower or the end of the drought.

So, we asked AMD. The company now tells us 40-nm yields at TSMC have stabilized, and supply of 5800-series cards should ramp up from here.

TSMC, the Taiwanese foundry that produces GPUs for both AMD and Nvidia, has been the main cause of the shortages. The firm owned up to poor yields—around 40%— in late October, but its CEO promised things would be back in order by the end of the year. Sounds like the company kept that promise.

5800-series graphics cards look downright plentiful at Newegg today: we see seven Radeon HD 5850s and seven Radeon HD 5870s in stock, although prices are still higher than they should be. (The 5850s start at around $310, 50 bucks north of the suggested retail price, while the cheapest 5870s are about $20 above MSRP.) Of course, AMD still lacks any direct competition from Nvidia on the DirectX 11 front.

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