Poor yields and other challenges associated with the 28nm manufacturing process have Nvidia's and AMD's add-in board (AIB) partners starting to voice concerns about next generation GPUs, specifically Kepler (Nvidia) and Southern Islands (AMD). Both chip designers are turning to Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) to produce 28nm chips, and the lingering concern is that past issues may again present themselves.
According to DigiTimes, this has AIBs feeling conservative about upcoming 28nm chips. TSMC's issues with 40nm parts led to weak yields, and it's possible the same thing could happen with 28nm. And if that weren't enough, AIBs are also concerned about weakening demand for videocards and lower than expected gross margins, DigiTimes says.
Board partners are in a tough place. Sales of high-end discrete GPUs are down, and today's CPUs with integrated graphics are slowly cutting into sales of entry-level and mid-range cards. Throw in potential manufacturing problems and it's easy to see why AIBs less than optimistic.