The reason AMD Radeon HD 6970 is delayed
The delay is not due to 40nm chip shortage
Partners not getting their AMD Radeon HD 6970 boards in time has led many to speculate AMD is indeed facing yield issues with its upcoming flagship GPU. However, an insider has shared a contradicting piece of news: the card’s delay is not due to yield issues — production is perfectly fine, but rather a shortage of a particular component from Texas Instruments (TI) is the root cause of the hold-up.
This TI component is an integrated driver-MOSFET (DrMOS) that was first used on AMD’s Radeon HD 6800 Series. This DrMOS is so new to the point there is no information on it on the Web, not even from the manufacturer itself.
Supply of this DrMOS is limited, and since the Radeon HD 6800 Series and upcoming HD 6900 Series share the same VRM design, any (tight) supply from TI is shared between all the cards. This leads to a delay in HD 6970 card manufacturing, with partners receiving their final boards late as well.
It is interesting to note that AMD has also withheld the final BIOS from partners. It is an open question as to whether NVIDIA’s just-launched GeForce GTX 580 flagship GPU and its performance figures has anything to do with this. That aside, the initial 22nd November date may be set to change; AIBs will only know the final launch date from AMD at the end of this week.