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Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation said Friday NVIDIA has some issues with the ramp of NVIDIA GeForce 6800-series graphics processors because of IBM’s inability to allocate a lot of manufacturing company for the graphics giant.

IBM Cannot Produce Enough GeForce 6800?

Foundry constraints continue to limit NVIDIA’s flexibility. NVIDIA is ramping two GeForce 6800 high-end parts on 300mm at IBM’s East Fishkill, New York, foundry, which continues to have limited ability to increase its wafer allocation, CSFB is reported to have said by Forbes.

The NVIDIA GeForce 6800-series of chips unveiled in mid-April are the company’s flagship products in the GeForce 6-series of graphics processors. The GeForce 6-series of graphics processors will be eventually available across entry-level, mainstream, performance-mainstream, high-end as well as so-called ultra high-end graphics cards. The new series of NVIDIA’s graphics processors is the company’s second generation lineup of DirectX 9.0-compatible offerings that greatly leverage the feature-set of NVIDIA GeForce FX graphics chips and brings important additional capabilities, such as Shader Model 3.0, as well as great performance improvements over the previous generation hardware.

NVIDIA Still Delivers Chips

Problems with the ramp of the high-end GeForce 6800-series of graphics processors may affect positions of Santa Clara, California-based graphics company in the market of high-end graphics cards.

While the company’s long-term ability to ramp up the high-end offerings is under questions, at this point the threat for NVIDIA is not serious, as the company still managed to deliver a batch of $499 graphics cards to producers of high-end personal computers for gamers as well as some GeForce 6800 Ultra products into the retail market. NVIDIA’s arch-rival ATI Technologies has so far managed to deliver its $399 RADEON X800 PRO offering that is slower compared to the GeForce 6800 Ultra, but could not start sales of the top-of-the-line ATI RADEON X800 XT graphics cards.

Quantities of the GeForce 6800 Ultra chips NVIDIA succeeds in bringing to the market are not clear. The graphics cards are reportedly available in limited quantities in Tokyo, Japan as well as from leading USA-based PC makers. ATI RADEON X800 PRO are available all around the world.

Credit Suisse First Boston believes that NVIDIA’s ability to rapidly increase production of complex graphics processors may improve once the firm inks contracts with companies who have similar manufacturing technologies with IBM, such as Chartered Semiconductor.

CFSB said NVIDIA is on track with its second quarter of fiscal 2005.

NVIDIA did not comment on the news-story on Sunday.


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