What you need to know
- The Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PS5 released back in November 2020.
- Supply has been limited, with consoles difficult to get ahold of.
- AMD CEO Lisa Su indicates that these shortages will continue until the second half of 2021.
In AMD's latest earnings report (as shared by Tom's Hardware), CEO Lisa Su stated that she expects chip supply to remain tight until the second half of 2021. In particular, this affects the production of Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PS5 consoles. PC hardware will also be affected but less so the higher-end PC components.
AMD will be working to have additional capacity available in the second half of the year, meaning the "tightness" around supplying chips will be heavily decreased and stock will more easily be available at retailers.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer also recently commented on the shortages, saying that Microsoft is building new consoles as quickly as possible. AMD supplies chips for Microsoft and Sony's consoles, as well as producing its own gaming PC hardware. If you're looking to buy an Xbox Series X, S or buy a PS5, you'll need to remain vigilent and hope for the best whenever retailers get new stock.
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Xbox Series X/S
I kind of selfishly hope that some of this is because they are building units to go into Xcloud servers so that can be on track too. Xcloud with fast loading would be really nice.
This is because TSMC (the chip foundry that AMD uses to produce it's chips) is way overbooked and cannot keep up with the demand. Covid has caused a huge surge in chip demand and the foundries just can't produce chips fast enough to meet it. There are shortages of all kinds of chips, APUs, CPUs, GPUs, some Memory, everything they produce. Even running 24x7 they can't keep up, resulting in shortages and price increases across the board. There are many other foundries: Samsung, Micron, Intel, etc. but all are having trouble keeping up with demand for their own products and have no spare capacity anyway.
They produce all kinds of chips, many at much higher volumes (and profit) than the AMD APUs used in Sony and MS consoles.
TSMC are producing the Apple M1 and A14 chips for example, and have massive orders from Apple to service before they can get to the much smaller orders from AMD.
It's a pure "Supply vs. Demand" issue that has been a long time coming is not going away any time soon.
The Capital requirements to build new fab facilities is in the Billions of $$$ and no one is going to bet that on future demand at this volatile time, that and the lead-time to build new fabs is measured in years, not months.
@Khaaannn The other factors in play there are causing the shortages is the supply of raw materials and supply chain issues such as freight and equipment maintenance - all aspects of this supply chain require people and often in very close proximity.
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