“Motherboard makers are seeing tight supply of AMD’s new SB850 southbridge, according to industry sources, adding that one of the main reasons is limited capacity of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company’s (TSMC’s) 55nm process. The earliest alleviation of the supply shortage will most likely be in September, sources said.
The company has also postponed the launch of its mainstream southbridge chip, the SB810, which is expected to be cheaper than the SB850.
As a temporary solution, most of the makers are pairing 8-series northbridges with the previous -generation SB710 southbridge for their motherboards.
AMD declined the opportunity to comment.”
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The arrival of the 800 series chipset from AMD marks a happy time for anyone looking to build a decent machine at a modest price. The reviews of the high end version of this chipset, the 890FX, have been positive and one of the big winners has been the totally redesigned SB850. Now that AMD’s southbridge must handle a serious amount of bandwidth from not only SATA2 channels but also SATA 6Gbs, there needs to be the ability to share resources when that much data transfer saturates the pipe. Unfortunately, a problem that seems all too common lately has reared its head; according to the information that DigiTimes has heard, there are problems with the supply capacity. TSMC is still the weak link in the supply chain, though this time it is with 55nm as opposed the the 40nm that has plauged them over the past year.