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AMD admits budget chips have been sacrificed to the silicon shortage gods

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(Image credit: Future)
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AMD CEO, Lisa Su, admitted at a JPMorgan conference yesterday that shortages in the silicon market have lead to it focusing on its high-end chips at the expense of its budget offerings. This helps explain why it hasn't rushed out to its new APU line-up to consumers, but also why the likes of the Ryzen 5 3400G is so hard to find.

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Lisa Su was responding to a question as to whether AMD would be making more profit this year if it had more capacity. Her answer suggested that like most semiconductor companies, demand was exceeding supply right now, and therefore that probably was the case. It then becomes a question of prioritization.

"There is some compute that we're leaving underserviced." Su says during the call (via Seeking Alpha (opens in new tab)). "I would say, particularly, if you look at some of the segments in the PC market, sort of the lower end of the PC market, we have prioritized some of the higher-end commercial SKUs and gaming SKUs and those kinds of things. " 

It makes sense that AMD is focusing on where it can make the most profit, but it still doesn't make for happy reading for anyone that is trying to build a budget machine right now. We are starting to see some system builders focusing on gaming PCs with integrated graphics, simply because there are so few graphics cards to populate machines with. It'd be great if DIY gamers had the option of building their own $400 machines (opens in new tab) though.

AMD is in a really good place financially right now and recently updated its guidance from the 37% year-on-year growth at the start of the year to 50% year-on-year growth now. 

There was some good news from the conference as well, with Lisa Su stating, "I do believe that you will see more and more capacity come online as we go through the next couple of quarters." 

Alan has been writing about PC tech since before 3D graphics cards existed, and still vividly recalls having to fight with MS-DOS just to get games to load. He fondly remembers the killer combo of a Matrox Millenium and 3dfx Voodoo, and seeing Lara Croft in 3D for the first time. He's very glad hardware has advanced as much as it has though, and is particularly happy when putting the latest M.2 NVMe SSDs, AMD processors, and laptops through their paces. He has a long-lasting Magic: The Gathering obsession but limits this to MTG Arena these days.