In Nvidia’s 2022 Q2 earnings call, CEO Jensen Huang revealed that the shortages plaguing graphics card supply aren’t going to end anytime soon. You can point fingers at cryptocurrency miners, but you’d be doing them an injustice. According to Huang, that isn’t the problem any longer.
Last month, AMD CEO Lisa Su set about managing expectations for people hoping to get their hands on a new card from AMD’s Radeon RX 6000 Series in 2021. She stated that while production was up, demand has just been too great. According to Nvidia’s earnings call, Team Green is still in the same boat.
Huang points to the success of the RTX 30 Series as the instigator of the problem. Good problems, I guess, since Nvidia still managed to increase its revenue by 68% to a record $6.51 billion USD. Gaming contributed $3.06 billion to that sum. That’s a massive 85% increase when compared to last year.
“RTX’s demand is quite incredible,” said Huang in the earnings call. “And now we reset the entire installed house and Ampere is off to just the incredible starting the best-selling GPU architecture in the history of our company. And yet, we’ve only upgraded some 20% — less than 20% of our total installed base,” Huang said.
And therein lies the problem. Many, many more people want powerful graphics cards in their homes. Not just to play games, but also to process images, render videos, mine cryptocurrencies, and more. The home office has gone from a nice-to-have to an essential part of life. And thanks to the performance gains of the latest generation, consumer graphics cards can now take the weight of advanced rendering and ray tracing. These products are the backbone of creative workstations.
Gamers want to game harder
On top of that, the 200 million-strong base of PC gamers using Nvidia graphics cards is looking to upgrade. Huang revealed that Nvidia has the supply it needs to meet its second-half growth plans for this year and next.
But then Huang dropped this disappointing bombshell, “I would expect that we will see a supply-constrained environment for the vast majority of next year is my guess at the moment.” He went on to explain, “But a lot of that has to do with the part of our demand is being too great. RTX is really a once-in-a-generation reset of computer model considered graphics.”
So while there isn’t a shortage of supply, the demand for graphics cards will still mean that there aren’t enough to go around. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TMSC) has also warned that the global chip shortage will extend into 2022. And Intel is using what supply it has to focus on delivering just its high-end Alder Lake S chips.