Colette Kress, Nvidia’s chief financial officer, spoke at the Credit Suisse digital financial services conference, explaining in part the recent shortages of the company’s new RTX 30-series graphics cards, such as the GeForce RTX 3080 and 3070.
She confirmed that wafer shortages at chip supplier Samsung Foundry are a factor, as many have speculated, but also suggested there is more to it. Kress said:
We have supply constraints and our supply constraints go beyond what we see in terms of wafers and silicon, but yes, some of the constraints are in substrates and components. We continue to work on our supply throughout the quarter, but we believe demand in the fourth quarter will likely exceed supply for overall gaming.
She also said it could be “a few months” before Nvidia can meet the demand, but even qualified that by saying “right now it’s very hard for us to quantify.”
Interest and demand in almost every part of the gaming industry has skyrocketed in 2020, presumably because people are spending more time at home pursuing hobbies, when previously (in the pre-pandemic world) they would have been out and about. But at the same time, COVID-19 has impacted electronics companies’ supply lines. These two factors combined have led to many situations where demand exceeds supply for gaming products such as video cards or consoles.
Even early in the pandemic, long before the new 30 Series RTX cards launched, Nintendo Switch consoles were becoming scarce at retailers around the world as Nintendo struggled to handle the sudden, unexpected surge in demand this spring. to keep up. And like Nvidia’s RTX cards, the recently launched PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S game consoles sell out almost immediately when they become available at online retailers, frustrating many potential buyers.
“We would characterize the launch and what we see as overwhelming demand,” Kress said. “Every day things keep improving. But before the end of the quarter we will be able to give some more information.”
Frame image by Sam Machkovech