Graphics, Hardware

nVidia GT300 – GeForce GTX 380 yields are sub-30%


When we ran the TSMC yield story, we were left owing you an explanation. Time to clear that up too… why does TSMC have "f***** up" yields? Because the chip "some say doesn’t exist" has disastrous yields. We refuse to be drawn into the speculation about whether the GT300 exists or not, since we have enough data on hand that would send nVidia Legal our way – but that was in the past, green guys have learned better 😉

According to our sources close to the [silicon] heart of the matter, the problem is that nVidia has yields in the 20 percentage range. You’ve guessed, that is waaay [insert several "a"] too low for launch volume production. Even when TSMC improves the leakage issues [the company claims that the leakage issues are now the thing of the past], nVidia will probably send a new revision of silicon – the yields have to be get high enough to earn a little bit of money.

The current situation is that three faulty chips are made in the process to yeild one working one and that is much too much, since those faulty chips aren’t exactly "GTX 360" or "slower Quadro FX" grade material. Some faulty parts might work under forced cooling, but the high leakage is already an issue with the current graphics card layout. We won’t go into the whole instability, does not work etc situation. As we all know, the graphics chips are at the worst possible position, facing down [unless you put them in testbed/desktop case]. With high leakage parts, the thermal shockwave is sent through the organic packaging to the PCB [Printed Circuit Board] and can cause extensive failure, like nVidia learned with their $200 million mistake called "bad bumps" or simply "bumpgate".

We have the exact percentage, but in order to protect the parties involved, we are going to refrain from posting the exact yield figure on first batch of chips. All we can say is – not yet ready for production.