Nvidia recently placed additional orders for wafer starts at 0.14-micron for its AGP8x-based NV34 (FX5200) graphics chips at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), as demand in the entry-level segment remains strong, according to sources.
The orders will provide about two million graphics chips per month, the sources indicated.
Nvidia Taiwan declined to comment.
Graphics chips supporting PCI Express (PCIe) have still not overtaken the NV34 chip in the entry-level segment, though Nvidia has attempted to push the PCIe standard with its GeForce 6200 graphics processing unit (GPU) with TurboCache technology, unspecified graphics-card makers commented.
The quote for Nvidia's NV34 is only about US$18 for the entry-level segment, said the sources, adding that PCIe-based chips could be available at a similar price by the end of this year.
In related news, Taiwan-based graphics-card makers Leadtek Research, Prolink Microsystems and Tul are pessimistic about their May revenues, according to the companies. The makers' results may suffer due to high inventory levels of AGP8X products in the mid-range and high-end segments and falling DRAM prices, said the makers.