Strong Notebook Sales Caused Shortages of Intel Mobile Chips

Intel Pentium M on Dothan Core In Short Supply, Claims Report

by Anton Shilov
04/19/2005 | 05:08 PM

Intel Corp. on Monday confirmed rumours that the company could not supply enough mobile microprocessors, particularly those intended for Centrino-branded notebooks and based on 90nm process technology. The firm, however, said it would correct the situation and the vast majority of the demand would be satisfied.

 

“As reported in our earnings announcement today, unit sales of mobile processors set a record in Q1, and we expect to continue to see strong demand on that front. Because of that strong demand, we are still seeing some tightness in certain mobile processors along with ongoing tightness in chipsets. However, at this point in time, we expect to be able to meet the vast majority of our overall demand within the quarter,” said Barbara Grimes, an Intel’s spokeswoman.

According to a report from EETimes web-site, some Asia-based makers of computers, for instance, Chinese Tsinghua Unisplendour had to develop notebooks based on central processing units from Advanced Micro Devices due to continued shortages of Intel’s mobile processors. An exec for the company is reported to have said that the PC maker had been saddled with shortages of processors for notebook PCs since last November.

Besides very strong demand for notebooks, which was recently confirmed by market research firm IDC, there are other factors to cause shortages. The Chinese press claimed that Intel Corp.’s Pentium M shortages were consequence of transitioning of some of the Intel Pentium M processors based on the Dothan core to 533MHz processor system bus and the need to change some production-related technologies.

Intel’s latest incarnation of Centrino platform previously code-named Sonoma primarily targets the consumers, while the initial Centrino incarnation addressed the needs of business and enterprise users, who are not much interested in loads of multimedia capabilities, but are more concentrated on battery life and wireless LAN capability, still, Intel incorporated a number of technologies that further reduce power consumption of notebooks, such as Intel Display Power Saving Technology 2 (Intel DPST2), which reduces display backlight power by up to 400mW with minimal visual impact.

Intel’s President and COO Paul Otellini recently said 80 notebook makers planned to adopt the new Centrino flavour at launch and more than 150 would ship products based on the Sonoma by the end of 2005.