It seems as if Nvidia is having difficulty manufacturing its upcoming Kepler GPU lineup due to a supply shortage at TSMC that has been linked to internal (TSMC) 28nm issues.
According to veteran tech guru Charlie Demerjian, the shortage may have prompted Apple to drop Nvidia’s long-awaited Kepler GPU from its next-gen low-range MacBooks.
Meaning, the upcoming laptops probably won’t be equipped with a discrete GPU, and will just have to make do with Intel’s GT2 integrated Ivy Bridge chipset.
“[However], this doesn’t mean that Nvidia is completely out at Apple, the Intel GPUs are too awful to satisfy the higher end laptops, so there will need to be something in those,” Demerjian explained in a detailed analysis posted on SemiAccurate.
“What that something is, we don’t definitively know yet, but the possibilities are vanishingly small.”
Demerjian also noted that while lower end MacBooks will simply do without a discrete GPU, the higher end parts will remain unchanged, with the middle tier offering some discrete GPU options for select models.
“For Nvidia, this hard fought win at Apple just went up in smoke for the reasons we have been warning readers about since last summer. The largest single order for the GPU maker this year was scaled way way back, but we can’t say the exact percentage,” writes Demerjian.
“By the time there are new bids for the next generation laptops, [Intel’s] Haswell will essentially kill off the segment that Apple would have used, meaning this market is dead forever. [Yes], it may sound dramatic, but this is the end of the mid-range GPU segment as a standalone part. This most lucrative slice of the market is now on its last legs.”