AMD Fiji GPUs said to be in short supply due to poor yields

Posted on Tuesday, Jul 14 2015 @ 12:26 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
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For months there have been rumors about poor yields of High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) and now KitGuru reports that yields of AMD's Fiji GPU, which powers the Radeon R9 Fury series, are rather low. Exact details aren't known but due to the complexity of the chip and the high transistor density yields are believed to be considerably lower than those of NVIDIA's GM200 GPU, making it hard for AMD to lower the pricing of its Fury lineup.

Poor yields are said to be the reason why ASUS and Sapphire are currently the only two AMD partners with Radeon R9 Fury video cards. More AIBs are expected to debut Fury cards in the near future but supply is very limited at the moment.
According to the report, yields of AMD’s code-named “Fiji” graphics processing unit are rather low. Insufficient yields are not something surprising: with 8.9 billion transistors inside, the “Fiji” is the most complex chip ever produced. While the IC [integrated circuit] is not as large as Nvidia Corp.’s GM200, it is considerably harder to produce because of higher transistor density. Moreover, since “Fiji” uses all-new high-bandwidth memory (HBM) as well as a special interposer to connect memory to the GPU, testing and packaging process of the chip is extremely complex.

The exact yield rate of AMD’s “Fiji” is uncertain and it is unclear how many chips Advanced Micro Devices can get from its partners at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Moreover, since cycle times of TSMC’s 28nm fabrication process are over two months, it is clear that AMD cannot solve all of its problems quickly.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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