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Asustek Computer on Tuesday said that it cannot allocate enough processors for notebooks from Intel Corp. It was not clear from the comments made whether the demand for Asus notebooks is so high that the company cannot get enough central processing units (CPUs) to fulfill it, or supplies from Intel are lower than expected.

“The biggest shortage in notebook components is in CPUs, Intel CPUs. Intel isn’t meeting demand,” said Jerry Shen, president of Asustek, answering questions at an investors conference in Beitou, Taiwan, reports IDG News Services agency.

In fact, central processing units for notebooks are hardly the only components in short supply nowadays. There are reports that makers of mobile computers cannot get enough liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels, small form-factor hard disk drives (HDDs), battery cells and so on. Therefore, it is hardly a surprise that laptop manufacturers also cannot get such vital components as microprocessors.

According to an IDC report, worldwide PC microprocessor shipments grew 14.3% sequentially to reach record levels in the third calendar quarter of 2007. Shipments of processors designed for mobile PCs continued to lead the market, growing 26.6% in Q3 2007, reflecting considerable worldwide demand for notebooks in the second half of the year. Shipments of processors for desktop PCs and for servers also fared rather well, increasing by 7.7% and 4.6%, respectively.

“Our relationship with Intel is good so we don’t have a big problem, but if it wasn’t so good, our troubles might be worse,” Mr. Shen is reported to have said.

It is generally believed that Microsoft Windows Vista operating system (OS) is driving sales of both desktops and laptops this year. Keeping in mind the fact that Vista’s market share is still well below 100% and is not even close to that milestone, the demand eventually may even increase, as the new OS matures. On the other hand, the second half of the year is generally considered to be a peak season when it comes to demand for mobile computers.

Asustek forecasts it will ship between 4.2 million and 4.4 million of its own-brand laptops this year, not including its popular new Eee PC.


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