Intel Corp. still cannot supply enough 32nm mobile central processing units (CPUs), according to Converge, a distributor of electronic components. Even though the demand towards chips is traditionally sluggish in Q1, already in March, 2010, the demand exceeded supply for certain models and in April the trend continued.
“We saw the full force of the Intel Arrandale shortage, with the Core i3-330M, Core i3-350M and Core i5-430M all suffering from depleted stock as OEMs moved from the Intel Montevina platform. This resulted in parts changing hands at inflated pricing during April. We expect the Core i3-330M to settle in the $100–$110 range, but spot market prices of around $130 have not been uncommon,” the report from Converge reads.
At present the distributor is seeing a swath of excess inventory in the market as the Nehalem, Wolfdale and Montevina families reach end-of-life. For example, the Core 2 Duo T7700s, T8100s and P7350s are among the CPUs that are presently selling below their direct pricing in the spot market.
“Server chips continue to deliver savings, particularly in the 45nm Nehalem and Dunnington families. In some instances, double-digit margin savings can be attained, making this an opportune time to gain a price advantage as we cross between new and old architectures,” noted Converge.
It remains to be seen whether shortages of Intel mobile microprocessors will just make them more expensive, or will force notebook makers to adopt more chips from Intel’s arch-rival Advanced Micro Devices. Back in Q1 2010 AMD lost market share in the mobile CPU space, although tight supply of certain Intel Core i3 and i5 processors was evident in March.