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NVIDIA moves production of its TEGRA chips to Yakutsk to circumvent overheating problems

Posted: , by Luis D.

NVIDIA's plant in Yakutsk

NVIDIA's plant in Yakutsk


Today, NVIDIA opened the doors to its first ever private chip-making factory. Built in the town of Yakutsk, heart of the Siberian republic of Yakutia and conveniently located just 280 miles (450km) south of the Arctic Circle, the fab will be entirely devoted to producing NVIDIA's scorching-hot TEGRA chips.

Both company CEO Jen-Hsun Huang and Yakutsk mayor Aisen Nikolayev were present at the celebratory occasion, which featured an ensemble of Siberian bears dancing to the tunes of lively balalaika performances. At -5 degrees Celsius, the day was warm and sunny by the town's weather standards. Donning typical Yakutian male fashion - muskrat fur cap, sheepskin shuba coat, and reindeer skin boots, Mr. Huang expressed his excitement to a crowd of journalists from regional newspaper Gazeta Yakutia, unsuspecting fur-clad bystanders, and a slightly confused bear.

Worker preparing a batch of TEGRA 4 chips

Worker preparing a batch of TEGRA 4 chips

In addition to opening several hundred new workplaces, the factory will finally resolve NVIDIA's long-standing struggles with the extreme hot temperatures involved in the production of its powerful TEGRA mobile chipsets, Huang claimed. According to him, Yakutsk's notably cool climate, which at one time saw temperatures drop to a record -63 degrees Celsius, is ideal for the company's purposes. The CEO added that the decision to move chip production in-house was sparked by the extreme difficulties, which Taiwanese contract manufacturer TSMC faced in its efforts to supply NVIDIA with enough TEGRA 4 chips.

To insure the production process, the semiconductor plant had to poach several hundred blast furnace workers and outfit them with specialized heat-resistant clothing, despite implementing an extensive cooling system. Unfortunately, TSMC failed to achieve sufficient yield rates, which resulted in a burning deficit of TEGRA 4-based devices throughout 2013, in addition to many workers being rendered unable to bear the normal temperatures outside their working environment. The mishaps prompted NVIDIA to take matters in its own hands, lest it missed another full year of actually competing in the mobile silicon market.

The company will invest further into fitting seemingly impossible numbers of GPU cores on its chips


A peek inside NVIDIA's almost finished Yakutsk plant

A peek inside NVIDIA's almost finished Yakutsk plant

Cheerful, Huang remarked that workers in the Yakutsk factory will be able to work comfortably in casual clothing, perhaps shorts and a sweater, and no specialized cooling measures will be required. This will significantly reduce NVIDIA's production costs, which will let the company invest further into fitting seemingly impossible numbers of GPU cores on its chips. The company's latest mobile silicon, TEGRA K1, features a whopping 192 Kepler cores - a number, which the CEO laughed off as a “small step” towards the company's ultimate goal - to make a complete chipset solution with no CPU cores whatsoever, only graphics ones. 

All of this sure sounds like an April Fools' joke...

15 Comments
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posted on 01 Apr 2014, 04:13 13

1. DirtySoul (Posts: 14; Member since: 22 May 2012)


Ahaha, good one, by far the funnies 1st April Joke.

posted on 01 Apr 2014, 09:19 2

13. CoastCity (Posts: 139; Member since: 07 Mar 2014)


Today's masterpiece

posted on 01 Apr 2014, 14:07

15. RandomUsername (Posts: 531; Member since: 29 Oct 2013)


SwiftKey FlowHard is pretty hilarious too. And Sony Power Food :D

posted on 01 Apr 2014, 04:18 1

2. eisenbricher (Posts: 971; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


rofl this is awesome, nice April fools joke. Even NVidia doesn't deny that K1 has huge heat issues lol...

The internal frustration rising inside nVidia might have resulted in this joke.. Imagine you are having an awesome, fast, tough SoC in hand owning other SoCs but you can't just launch it because it burns power like no other.

posted on 01 Apr 2014, 09:08 2

12. grahaman27 (Posts: 348; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


I think its quite the opposite, they are poking fun at the idea. April fools.

posted on 01 Apr 2014, 04:18

3. Felix_Gatto (Posts: 545; Member since: 03 Jul 2013)


They should use Liquid Nitrogen cooling system on their Tegra K1 chips.

posted on 01 Apr 2014, 04:57

4. GreekGeek (Posts: 844; Member since: 22 Mar 2014)


This is soo not April Fool's

posted on 01 Apr 2014, 05:12

5. microsoftnokiawin (Posts: 1024; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


IKR what if all these announcements today are real and we think they're april's fools

posted on 01 Apr 2014, 07:04 2

6. fireblade (Posts: 714; Member since: 27 Dec 2013)


not funny

posted on 01 Apr 2014, 08:10 1

7. AnukulVcool (Posts: 133; Member since: 02 Jun 2012)


yakutsk is a beautiful place , but be strong to go there

posted on 01 Apr 2014, 08:45

8. sprockkets (Posts: 1316; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


Is it really that bad? Has it really deserved that reputation?

I mean, if you said Pentium 4 prescott generation, sure. Otherwise not funny.

posted on 01 Apr 2014, 09:00

9. MarkArigayo (Posts: 240; Member since: 18 Dec 2013)


Ahahaha, finally nVidia fell the pain.

posted on 01 Apr 2014, 09:03

10. linaresx (Posts: 85; Member since: 13 Jun 2013)


Here's an idea...liquid cooled cores. You'd just have to carry a flask full of Prestone.

posted on 01 Apr 2014, 09:04

11. Aploine (Posts: 197; Member since: 24 Oct 2013)


Rolf-rorf-roooolf

posted on 01 Apr 2014, 10:02 2

14. express77 (unregistered)


we are reading out of the world news today

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