It's almost certainly simply a lot cheaper to stick with binned 9100 versions (not to mention switching to a new process isn't free).
If it were merely an issue of product positioning, they would instead of likely gimped the product some other way; some way that actually saves them money by allowing for smaller chips, higher yields, or some such thing. They did that *too* by halving the memory, right?
This is literally just a Vega 56 with ECC memory and a $1k price tag.
Interesting that this isn't on the 12nm process. Odd they don't move it over to it.
No, not odd. Vega 20 isn't so far along. They said it would sample to partners by the end of this year, which probably means cloud providers not requiring full driver support or certification with all the various workstation apps. That stuff takes time, you know?
IMO, this just means that AMD wants to address more of the workstation market, but while avoiding price erosion on their top-end SKU (which already sells for a significantly less than comparable Nvidia Quadro cards).
The funny thing is that, unless you really needed ECC memory, you'd have been better off buying a Vega Frontier Edition. Or, maybe they're no longer made? Anyway, those also supported workstation apps, had 16 GB of memory, and (I think) shipped with all CUs enabled. Best of all, I think they were priced only a little higher than this one.
"The new card, which is based on AMD’s existing Vega GPU architecture, is a slightly cut down version the flagship Radeon Pro WX 9100, which debuted last summer, for less than half the price of the top-tier card. "
That sentence makes it sound like the WX 9100 cost half as much as some unmentioned card. Maybe try again with 2 sentences and no commas.
For half the price... I wonder what they did to cut the cost that much.
Workstation GPUs have very high margins, so the most likely thing is they "ran out of customers willing to pay twice as much".
Well, that and these are flawed chips with slightly lower performance. It's pretty standard practice to sell those at a significantly reduced price.
As @bananaforscale said, these are workstation cards. Believe it or not, this is pretty average for that market.
For instance, the Quadro P5000 (the workstation version of the GTX 1080) sells for about $1900. The P6000 (GTX 1080 Ti equivalent) sells for about $4500. The only difference vs. the GTX version is more memory, "workstation" drivers, and certification for common workstation applications.