AMD's already released high-end and low-end versions of its new Radeon 7000 lineup, but we've barely heard anything about Nvidia's upcoming Kepler GPUs. When will the first 6xx products launch? Heck, what season will Kepler launch in? Your guess is as good as ours. (At least there are spec rumors floating around.) We know one thing for certain, however; the yields of the 28nm wafers used to make Kepler GPUs have been horrible, and it's going to cost Nvidia big in the upcoming months.
"We are ramping our Kepler generation very hard, and we could use more wafers. The gross margin decline is contributed almost entirely to the yields of 28nm being lower than expected,” Xbit Labs reports Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang as saying during a conference call. "That is, I guess, unsurprising at this point." Arg, hopefully we're not going to see the ghost of delayed Fermi architectures past.
Low yields aren't the only thing dropping Nvidia's gross margins, though; Huang says the ongoing fallout from Thailand's floods are also hammering the company.
On the bright side, Huang told analysts that Kepler "…is probably the best GPU we have ever built and the performance and power efficiency is surely the best that we have ever created." And once Kepler GPUs do start hitting the shelves, expect them to do so in droves; Huang said that the company has signed contracts to provide Nvidia 6xx GPUs to "virtually every single PC OEM in the world."