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LindaPeterson8x

Why doesen't new stuff release immediately after finish?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

After they finished a cpu for example and it is fully capable of runing etc etc you know what I mean, the companies still wait a long time before releasing the product? Same with games and stuff. Why are they doing this ? Is it to like increase the publicity level of the product to make more money? Or what is it all about ?

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They have to make some extra stock, they have to market it, validate it, get rid of the old stock, etc... 


 

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For hardware, often it is manufacturing that is the limiting factor. They want to build up stock so there is some chance of getting some. No matter how good your plans are, unexpected things happen and there will be delays too. 


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3 minutes ago, LindaPeterson8x said:

After they finished a cpu for example and it is fully capable of runing etc etc you know what I mean, the companies still wait a long time before releasing the product? Same with games and stuff. Why are they doing this ? Is it to like increase the publicity level of the product to make more money? Or what is it all about ?

I think generally speaking for a physical item such as a CPU, they need to time to manufacture them as well as make sure they are as faultless as possible, sure the CPU might work but maybe the heat sink or something wasn't quite right (I'm just throwing ideas into the mix, just what I've assumed over time is the case) 

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because stock and production ramping up. you can be done design wise and have basic production way before you can meet the demand of customers. its also so they can hype their product more but thats mostly a side part


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It's having enough stock to meet preorder demand, and final market release demand. It's buying/licensing shelf space in brick and mortar stores. It's ensuring they can ship the products in time, or making sure server traffic won't be too overloaded when hundreds of thousands go to the website to buy and download a game. There is, I'm sure, some kind of hype build in there too. But there's probably more things that go on behind the scenes that I've missed. But to sum it up, usually there's lots of legit reasons they do that.

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To get people hype and then they can pull a Bethesda and just ruin it after getting everyone hyped

 

 

 

 

and to get more so they don’t run out


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In the case of chips, it's several things.

It takes WEEKS for a chip to be produced, from the moment a silicon wafer (a round disc on which the chips are made) goes into the fabrication plant and gets out.

Then, the discs usually are processed in the same factory or somewhere else (they're often shipped to another country where there's machinery and testing equipment available to mass process them, factories often have just a small amount of testing equipment to randomly sample chips and make sure it all goes right).

By processing, I mean the discs are cut into the rectangles or squares that represent the chips, then each chip is individually put into a machine and they're tested - this can take hours to days.

They're testing if various sections of a chip work and how well they work. For example in the case of processors they test if individual cores function properly, or in the case of graphics cards chip how groups of processing units work properly. Big chips these days also have a lot of cache memory inside which takes a lot of area inside the chips, so often some chips have a tiny portion of that memory faulty, so they have to test that portion as well and disconnect the faulty part of memory from the rest to make the chips work.

Then, they also analyze how much power each portion of the chip consumes at various frequencies. If a particular portion of a chip consumes too much power at  a desired frequency, they have to group that chip with others and eventually sell it as running at lower frequency, or (in the case of processors) they could artificially disable a few cores so that overall the power consumption would be within acceptable limits. This is called binning.

Manufacturing of chips is not perfect and no 2 chips are the same, because of the steps and methods involved in making chips (they use optical stuff, lasers, lens, and lens are not perfect, when the chips are made on the round wafer disc, in some areas of the wafer chips will come out more perfect than chips from other areas of the disc.

 

Once the chips are tested and binned, they're moved to another factory or factories where they're "glued" on the substrate with the pins or contacts, then they put the metal heatsink on top so they don't break when you put heatsink on, then there's packaging.

 

So it takes a long time for chips to be made from start to finish, and the factories have limited production, like let's say a factory can only make 20 000 wafer discs a month, each with 100 chips on them. You can't just tell the factory to make the highest end cpu, you get 20 000 x 100 chips or 2 million chips and then you test them, and it may turn out 5% of them are completely unusable in any way due to too many errors, and then you have maybe 70% of the highest quality chips, and then 10-20 levels of quality for the rest in various percentages (chips with a weaker core, chips with 1-2 faulty cores, chips with so much faulty cache memory that they may have to disable a few cores to sell it as a cheaper processor) .

 

Also keep in mind that in the case of processors, companies like AMD may bin the chips and keep the absolute very best chips for server processors like EPYC or Rome, and then the next step below to processors like Threadripper ... these processors give them more profit per part sold. Then you have the rest to processors like Ryzen and Athlon. Intel does the same.

 

Same for graphics cards ... for example the chip on Vega 7 is made with 64 CUs and the chips that come out very good are usually put in the expensive workstation cards, those Instinct graphics cards... the ones that were lower quality or had maybe 1-2 CUs with problems were set aside and they accumulated chips. Now they have Vega 7 with 60 CUs enabled - so they can use those chips with up to 4 faulty CUs to make Vega 7 video cards, or they can artificially disable up to 4 of the weakest (most power hungry) CUs to get Vega7 chips that can reach some minimum frequencies or performance levels.

 

So it can take some time for stock of various chip models to reach minimum levels of each chip model so that you can ship reasonable amounts (like 1000pcs minimum) to various distributors around the world.

Then the parts are shipped and often decision is made to be shipped cheaper by boat which may take 2-3 weeks, instead of shipping them by plane or by land which could take let's say 3-5 days.

Then regional distributors have to ship by land chips and stuff to more local distributors, and ideally all this is done before the launch date.

 

And don't forget that way early in the process, companies like AMD and Intel send engineering samples to various motherboard manufacturers so that they can test the designs they're planning to launch and also test previous motherboards for compatibility and have their programmers prepare new BIOSes for older boards if they're required to get the new processor working on them, this also takes time.

 

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5 hours ago, iLostMyXbox21 said:

To get people hype and then they can pull a Bethesda and just ruin it after getting everyone hyped

Skylake in a nutshell. 

"Hey guys, DDR4 on consumer platforms!"

"this quadcore completely outclasses a certain competitor..."

"HEDT 6 core options!"

*screaming Intel buyers*

 

...

 

*lisa su quietly pets a prototype R7 1800x while staring at the lights from the Intel panel at CES through a tall window from the top of her evil lair*

"soon."


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6 hours ago, LindaPeterson8x said:

After they finished a cpu for example and it is fully capable of runing etc etc you know what I mean, the companies still wait a long time before releasing the product? Same with games and stuff. Why are they doing this ? Is it to like increase the publicity level of the product to make more money? Or what is it all about ?

For hardware, there's a validation process that still needs to happen. CPUs fresh off the fab aren't stuck into motherboards and tested. They have to be tested independently of other hardware. And just because it's fine with that testing doesn't mean it won't be once you start integrate everything together. For hardware manufacturers as well, there needs to be software foundation so other people can build programs, otherwise there's not much point in having the hardware. It's likely the, for example, the PS4 and XB1's specs were finalized long before the release date so game developers can start their work.

 

For games, same thing, there's a validation process. Especially for consoles, there's a certification process that publishers have to submit their games to. And due to the backlog of games needing to be tested, it takes a while from submitting the game for certification to being released.

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Another factor that has not been mentioned, is (most) companies want to release their products to great fanfare (like at CES or something) rather than having their products leak, for a multitude of reasons including airtime, accuracy (so you don't get angry fans), so that they can sell out of their stock, (so that they don't end up in the situation that Nvidia has been in for the last while)

and so that they have an ample supply on launch day. The thing is that the closer to the shelf a product gets before launch, the more people are going to see it that you can't get to sign NDAs, and the greater the chance that it could leak leading to a failed launch. Launching a product that is as important and as closely followed by the community as GPUs are is not easy.


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9 hours ago, LindaPeterson8x said:

After they finished a cpu for example and it is fully capable of runing etc etc you know what I mean, the companies still wait a long time before releasing the product? Same with games and stuff. Why are they doing this ? Is it to like increase the publicity level of the product to make more money? Or what is it all about ?

Because they have to fine tune it all. Get the marketing in place, get it to the distributors, get the tv ads in place.


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8 hours ago, WereCat said:

They have to make some extra stock, they have to market it, validate it, get rid of the old stock, etc... 

yep , and plus a lot of times there is still like a bit of testing to do, not that the product works, more like human workloads and any bugs they didnt pick up on yet


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3 hours ago, campy said:

"this quadcore completely outclasses a certain competitor..."

It's not like Haswell didn't do that either, at the time...

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I will tell you a story a friends father told me.

 

Back when they had just black and white copy (xerox) machines he was on a visit to a company who made copy machines. They were just launching their latest black and white copy machine. 

 

In the warehouse out the back they were already building up stock of their first colour copy machines ready for launch later in the year!

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So in any business, actually having a product is the easy bit. The hard bit is getting it out there - production, marketing, ensuring supply, distributing and all the logistics are the time consuming bits.

 

In hardware specifically - to get a mass production assembly line up and running is extremely time consuming and expensive. You need to program the tools, train any humans involved and sometimes have custom tools or machines made. At the early stages a lot will go wrong and there will be a high failure rate until all the kinks are ironed out. Lots of testing has to be done on each thing made to make sure it works.

 

Then someone has to design a box for it to go into, and write the instruction manuals, get a support program in place etc. etc.

 

Then there are other factors as well - if you release too soon, everybody will want the new item and you won’t be able to sell all the old stuff.

 

Bringing a product to market is hard work, especially at volume.

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