It looks like Nvidia is already thinking about its future GPUs, but CEO Jensen Huang’s recent visit to Taiwan was done under the shadow of the rather embarrassing RTX 4080 12GB drama, which saw the company drastically pull the GPU just weeks after launch.
As HotHardware Reports, (opens in new tab) while in Taiwan, Huang apparently visited the headquarters of TSMC (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company), one of the world’s largest chipmakers, which supplies chips to companies such as Nvidia, Apple, and AMD. The purpose of this visit appears to be to ensure Nvidia tops the list to get the company’s next 3nm process.
Generally speaking, smaller chips are more efficient and can be used to create more powerful products. This new 3nm process could allow Nvidia to add more cores to its GPU lineup in the future, and that could be a deciding factor in determining the winner of the next generation of GPUs. The fact that TSMC also makes chips for Nvidia’s competitors explains why Huang was so keen to go on a charm offensive.
If successful, Nvidia’s next-generation 3nm GPU could see a significant performance boost over the new RTX 4000 ‘Lovelace’ series, recently launched with the RTX 4090 and based on TSMC’s 5nm process.
However, it’s another Lovelace card, the recently released RTX 4080 12GB, that cast a shadow over Huang’s journey.
Not only is Taiwan home to TSMC, but a large number of tech companies have their headquarters there, including third-party GPU manufacturers such as Gigabyte, Asus, and EVGA.
According to HotHardware, it appears that Huang visited some of them while in Taiwan, and it was likely less of an informal meeting with partners — but also a damage control point. As we reported some time ago, Nvidia’s decision to put the RTX 4080 12GB on hold on such short notice (while the more powerful RTX 4080 16GB is still on its way to release in November) is not just a blow to Nvidia – but it also has ramifications for third-party GPU manufacturers, many of whom will have already made their rounds on the RTX 4080 12GB, along with branding, packaging, and promotional materials featuring a GPU that no longer exists.
Therefore, Nvidia is clearly interested in fixing this inconvenience. In turn, it promised to compensate its partners for the RTX 4080 12GB, and that’s likely one of the reasons why Nvidia’s CEO was taking personal trips to its headquarters (if the reports are accurate, of course).
These meetings may have been a little tense, as Nvidia’s relationship with its partners seems to be under a bit of strain lately, with EVGA recently announcing that it was ceasing to manufacture GPUs, despite its cards being a big source of income for the company, and blaming Nvidia’s treatment of its partners as the reason.
Has Haung’s recent tour helped smooth things over? We certainly hope so – as more companies making their own models of Nvidia GPUs means more options for gamers and possibly more products for our list of best graphics cards.