AMD confirms RDNA 3 GPUs this year and is investing heavily to ‘meet demand’
AMD is in a real era right now — it’s been the past few years, really — but it’s also been poking around in the background to make sure it can really keep up with demand with enough chips to support its exponential growth. That’s at least the laudable goal of Dr. Lisa Su and the company.
The company just reported its 2021 financials, showing a 68% increase in total revenue compared to 2020, including double-digit percentage growth in GPU shipments and revenue. Well, someone started using AMD graphics cards, and the company wants to keep it that way because Dr. Su still feels GPUs are “underrepresented in the business.”
With continued chip shortages still plaguing the industry, any gains in AMD’s graphics card market share will be hampered if AMD can’t actually make enough Radeon chips to meet demand for its GPUs. It would be a serious problem if the next-gen RDNA 3 graphics cards released this year were once again confirmed to improve upon the already excellent RX 6800 XT.
“Demand for our products has been very strong,” Dr. Su said on the most recent earnings call, “We look forward to another year of significant growth and share gains as we ramp up our existing products and launch the next wave of Zen 4. CPUs and RDNA 3 GPUs. We’ve also made significant investments to ensure the capacity we need to support our growth in 2022 and beyond.”
Not only has the industry been struggling to take chips away from TSMC — although that’s always some kind of restriction — but other parts of the manufacturing chain have seen price hikes and supply issues. This means that AMD must focus on supporting the entire industry chain, not just squeeze more GPUs from its foundry partners.
“We’ve been looking at the supply chain for the past four or five quarters,” Dr. Su continued, “to understand our growth from a product perspective and the visibility we’re getting from customers. So about [the] The supply environment in 2022, we have made significant investments in wafer capacity, substrate capacity and back-end capacity.
“We’re very pleased with the progress we’ve made in our supply chain to meet our 2022 guidelines. Frankly, our goal is to have enough supply to meet the demand there.”
(Image credit: AMD)
Demand for graphics cards is voracious, to say the least, so if AMD can find a way to meet that demand, its market share will skyrocket. But there are always concerns that things could change in a market where the rogue state of cryptocurrencies is operating. The continued growth of GPU-based cryptocurrency mining, mostly using Ethereum, has been one of the biggest contributors to the staggering demand for graphics cards, which may have scared both AMD and Nvidia.
The last time cryptocurrencies drove that demand, the subsequent crash hit both GPU makers hard and left them floating a ton of graphics cards in a market that no longer needed them. Mining is no longer profitable, so the second-hand market is flooded, which hurts. This is clearly still on their minds as it becomes more likely that Ethereum GPU mining will end in the near future.
So AMD isn’t blindly flooding the market with chips, which means you shouldn’t expect to see retailers flooding every GPU under the sun. But you should start seeing something usable someday. That’s what we’ve started seeing with AMD recently.
“We’re pleased with the progress we’ve made with PCs,” Dr Su said, “and we’ll continue to make sure we match sales so we don’t build up inventory in the business.”
However, don’t expect the overpriced pricing to get better as inventory levels stabilize. In terms of pricing, AMD said it’s looking at the long-term outlook and trying to share the increased costs across the supply chain, but a big part of AMD’s revenue growth so much is because its average selling price of GPUs has gone up.
Getting cards to market is now more of a problem than making sure they’re actually affordable.
“We remain committed to the long term and work with our supply chain partners, as well as our customers, to make sure we find a way to share the extra cost,” said Dr Su. “But our focus is to make sure we have the supply to meet high demand.”
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