NVIDIA Spent Up to $9 Billion to Reserve 5nm Chip Supply for RTX 4080/4090 and 40 Series GPUs

NVIDIA is all set to launch its RTX 40 series graphics cards in September 2022. Fabbed on TSMC’s 5nm process node and the refined Ada Lovelace architecture, the next-gen GeForce GPUs will reportedly double the compute throughput. All this will, of course, come at a cost not only for consumers but NVIDIA as well. According to the company’s Q4 earnings report, by the end of the quarter, Team Green had spent up to $9 billion for inventory purchases and prepayments for future products.

In comparison, the same figure was $6.9 billion in Q3, and $2.54 billion in the same quarter last year. Earlier, it was reported that NVIDIA and Qualcomm were forced to pay a hefty advanced payment to reserve advanced process node capacity.

TSMC’s 5nm node is 16% faster than the 7nm node at the same power or 14% more efficient at the same performance, with a density gain of around 70%. This will allow NVIDIA to offer the kind of performance uplift required to challenge AMD’s multi-chiplet RDNA 3 design.

As per industry rumors, NVIDIA has paid TSMC $1.64 billion last quarter to reserve its share of the 5nm pie, with another $1.79 billion to be paid in the first quarter of 2022. Overall, the chipmaker will be spending close to $10 billion to secure its 5nm supply for the RTX 4080, 4090, and their 40 series brethren.

Over the past couple of years, graphics card prices have soared to unreasonable levels, leading to great anxiety and uncertainty among PC gamers and hardware vendors alike. Considering that most of the next-gen silicon will be fabbed on TSMC’s N5, the chances of a repeat are fairly high. However, TSMC and its foundry partners are quite optimistic about the situation, claiming that supply should start improving from the second half of the year. At the moment, the delivery period of chips has been extended to as much as 99 weeks in extreme cases which equals almost a year.


Computer hardware enthusiast, engineering dropout, and PC gamer. Former co-founder of Techquila (2017-2019), a fairly successful tech outlet. Been working on Hardware Times since 2019, an outlet dedicated to computer hardware and its applications.

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