AMD sounds optimistic on fixing GPU shortage

AMD Radeon RX 6500 XT shown side-on
(Image credit: Future)

AMD is aiming to get enough graphics cards out there to meet the current strong demand for the hardware, according to recent comments from the firm’s CEO.

Lisa Su was speaking in an earnings call following AMD’s latest fiscal results for 2021 – which witnessed a 68% surge in revenue compared to the previous year – where she observed that demand for AMD GPUs was very strong, noting that “we’ve been working on the supply chain really for the last four or five quarters.”

As PC Gamer reports, she said: “So in regards to [the] 2022 supply environment, we’ve made significant investments in wafer capacity, as well as substrate capacity and back-end capacity.

“We feel very good about our progress in the supply chain to meet the 2022 guidance. And our goal is, frankly, to have enough supply to satisfy the demand out there.”

Su also said that 2022 would be a year of ‘significant growth’ and not just ‘ramping up current products’ but also launching new RDNA 3 graphics cards, which are expected to debut late in the year.

She added: “We have also made significant investments to secure the capacity needed to support our growth in 2022 and beyond.”

Analysis: Cause for more optimism in the GPU world?

It’s good to hear more positive noises being made about GPU supply, though presumably we are still looking at the second half of 2022 before the situation really turns around (hopefully). AMD’s CEO has pinned the recovery on H2 2022 a couple of times before, and doesn’t mention any timeframe specifics here, so we can presume that this broad situation hasn’t changed much.

Maybe, however – just maybe – this kind of talk does indicate that things might pick up a bit before then, and Team Red will start making progress a little before July rolls around, considering that we recently heard graphics card stock levels are rumored to improve before too long (and get much better in the second half of the year).

That’s apparently down to the successful tackling of ABF substrate shortages – a vital component in graphics cards (and other hardware) – and funnily enough, in this earnings call, Su specifically mentions substrate capacity as one of the areas of significant investment for AMD.

Certainly, there are hints of optimism for the near future dotted around of late, and indeed AMD is apparently planning another budget GPU launch soon – a potential vanilla RX 6500 – plus a possible refresh of existing cards. So, we could see the likes of the RX 6850 as a stopgap before the launch of RDNA 3 cards (the latter could come as early as October, from the latest buzz we’ve heard).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).