Skip to main content

CPU, GPU prices could soar higher as silicon costs increase

Semiconductor manufacturer TSMC is reportedly increasing prices for its silicon, which means the cost of CPUs and GPUs will inevitably rise as well.

DigiTimes reports that processor prices are set to increase “substantially” in 2022 due to a boost in foundry costs. Specifically, processors based on the sub-7nm process nodes are expected to be more expensive moving forward.

A PC case showing the inside of the system, including the GPU and CPU.

TSMC has apparently applied a 10% to 20% price hike across its mature and advanced node ranges. As PCGamer notes, the company is said to be affected by several factors, including the ongoing chip shortages, freight and logistics, and material costs.

As pointed out by Tom’s Hardware, prices for products from technology giants such as AMD, Intel, and Nvidia will all be impacted. AMD, which utilizes TSMC’s aforementioned 7nm and 5nm transistors for its Zen 2-4 architecture, will inevitably be affected by the price increases. As such, expect Team Red CPUs to become more costly, including its highly anticipated Ryzen 7000 processors. Although the report omits any reference to AMD’s RDNA2 graphics cards, Tom’s Hardware highlights how these GPUs should become more expensive as well due to the cards being based on TSMC’s 7nm process.

As for Nvidia GPUs, the company has reportedly decided to no longer have Samsung as its preferred silicon partner. Instead, it has opted to switch to TSMC’s new 5nm process, which would be used for its upcoming RTX 40 series. DigiTimes added that the GPU firm has paid TSMC in the form of prepayments for long-term orders of 5nm silicon for future RTX 40 video cards.

Although Intel is said to be constructing new chip fab sites that will cost billions of dollars, Team Blue will also need to increase its payment amounts to TSMC in the interim. As Tom’s Hardware notes, some of its chips are already manufactured by TSMC.

Even Apple, one of TSMC’s largest customers, has reportedly agreed to the increased prices attached to TSMC’s silicon. The iPhone and Mac maker is reported to have ordered up to 150,000 4nm chips for its new CPU, the A16 processor.

TSMC itself will invest up to $44 billion in 2022 to meet higher demand levels for its nodes, which follows the record $30.4 billion it spent during 2021. The company did enjoy record sales last year.

Ultimately, these price hikes will see the already inflated price points of GPUs and CPUs rise even further in the near future. Amid a worldwide chip shortage and supply chain issues, we’ve seen the latest technology products, particularly GPUs, soar in costs. Scalpers, crypto miners, and eager gamers usually battle it out for the initial stock, after which the MSRP for such items at least doubles.

Although the powerful RTX 3090 Ti GPU’s leaked price tag of $4,500 shouldn’t be too much of a concern for the mainstream segment of the market, TSMC’s price increases will affect all ranges of GPUs. For general consumers, we can only hope that Intel’s expectation of a supply-demand balance for chips being achieved in 2023 comes to fruition so we can see price points finally normalize across the board.

Editors' Recommendations

Zak Islam
Computing Writer
Zak Islam was a freelance writer at Digital Trends covering the latest news in the technology world, particularly the…
Intel’s A770 GPU outperforms the RTX 4090 in one key way
Intel Arc A750 and A770 GPUs are great for Twitch.

Intel's discrete GPUs are the new kids on the block and have to prove themselves worthy. Intel's A770 GPU took a huge step in that direction, as shown in a recent benchmark test that demonstrates surprisingly strong performance in high-resolution video playback, outperforming Nvidia's best GPU, the GeForce RTX 4090.

In an extreme stress test, the CapFrameX team played back a super high-quality YouTube video showing aerial footage of several cities in Japan and recorded the frame rates from three different GPUs. The video was created with the AV1 codec in 8K resolution at 60 frames per second (fps). It's a huge amount of data that arrives quickly but Intel's A770 graphics card delivered an average of 59.9 fps. Meanwhile, Nvidia's RTX 4090 averaged 57.6 fps. AMD's Radeon RX 6800 XT was also tested and really struggled, reaching 22 fps.

Read more
GPU prices may be about to crash to incredible new lows
Graphics card in the Acer Predator Orion 7000.

Nvidia may be preparing to apply yet another price drop for its RTX 30-series GPUs, according to reports emerging from China.

As reported by VideoCardz, Chinese website ZOL is reporting that Team Green could reduce the cost of its graphics cards by the end of August -- a course of action that would undoubtedly be a response to the current state of the market.

Read more
Support for dual GPUs could be making an unexpected comeback
Intel Arc A750M Limited Edition graphics card sits on a desk.

Intel seems to be bringing back something that Nvidia and AMD had long given up on: the ability, and the incentive, to use dual graphics cards in a single system.

Multi-GPUs were once a big deal, but the latest generation abandoned that idea for a variety of reasons. However, Intel has allegedly confirmed that you'll be able to use multiple Intel Arc GPUs at once. Will that help Intel capture some of Nvidia's and AMD's customer base?

Read more