Despite a widely publicized problem with weak packaging materials last year, which caused some of its laptop graphics chips to fail at “higher than normal rates,” Nvidia claims orders for its mobile graphics chips have not been affected. While we wouldn’t say the same is true for the firm’s reputation, it seems computer builders are still choosing Nvidia’s graphics cores and are actually increasing their usage this year, contrary to what has been previously speculated.
Nvidia’s quick response to the problem helped ensure that its relationships with OEMs remain strong, according to the company. The graphics firm took a one-time $196 million charge last year to cover warranty and product replacement costs, in addition to releasing a software update to make laptop fans run more frequently; hence reducing thermal stress on the chips but also affecting battery life and causing increased noise.
However, just because OEMs seem to be in a forgiving mood doesn’t mean everyone else is. Nvidia is currently facing a securities lawsuit for allegedly concealing the existence of this defect in its graphics chip line for several months before coming clean, as well as one from angry customers with faulty graphics.