Chip companies like Intel, Nvidia, and AMD have all made statements about availability throughout this year. The takeaway is that availability for GPUs has not improved yet, and early projections about the supply shortage proved too optimistic. There are a lot of mixed signals going out at this point, but AMD CEO Lisa Su was willing to give her current take on the situation in a recent interview with Barron’s. According to her, GPU and CPU supply shortages will remain tight through the rest of 2021.
This doesn’t necessarily contradict earlier statements, as AMD believed the situation would “improve” in 2021, though, what one calls progress may be moot to another. This is certainly the case with GPUs, because while production volume has apparently ramped up since the launch of AMD’s Radeon RX 6000 Series last fall, the graphics cards are practically impossible to find in stock. Unless you want those AIB models that are basically self-scalped given the ridiculous markups over MSRP. The same goes for Nvidia graphics cards.
Hot ticket items and a lack of infrastructure
The main problem with GPU supply at this point in 2021 is still just demand. Everyone wants a new, powerful graphics card. That includes gamers, professionals, miners, and content creators. Other industries like the auto industry are also chomping at the bit for more silicon, which is putting further strain on the supply chains for things like raw materials.
These problems simply take time to sort out, as sourcing quality materials takes time and capacity changes then need more time to scale up further. The good news is that substrate shortages are apparently improving now, which was a major issue previously. Lisa Su believes AMD will increase production each quarter from here on out, and made a similar statement about increased capacity this summer in regard to Ryzen chips. Seeing as there is markedly better availability for the Ryzen 5000 Series now, perhaps we are in store for some more GPUs next.