CHIPMAKER Intel has addressed its well-publicised CPU shortage, blaming the issue on the "unexpected return to growth of the PC industry."
Until now, Intel hasn't said much about the shortage, other than putting out a short statement acknowledging the "stronger than expected demand" for 14nm chips.
While the firm has remained tight-lipped, reports have claimed that the firm's firm's delay in advancing to 10nm has seen it struggle to meet capacity in-house, with its overall 14nm chip supply falling short of demand by as much as 50 per cent.
This is likely to disrupt vendors' notebook shipment plans for the second half of 2018, reports noted, with others claiming that Intel plans to outsource some 14nm production to TSMC in order to help it meet demand.
In a letter put out on Friday, Bob Swan, Intel CFO and interim CEO, has blamed the now-confirmed shortage on the surprising growth of PC industry, which he says is being driven by "strong demand for gaming as well as commercial systems."
He also shifts some blame to the "continued explosion of data and the need to process, store, analyse and share it", which saw Intel's data-centric businesses grew 25 per cent in the first half of 2018.
Going forward, Swan says, Intel plans to prioritize the premium market, including Xeon and Core processors, so it "can serve the high-performance segments of the market."
Beyond that, the company plans to invest $15bn in capital expenditures this year, including $1bn going toward the manufacture of 14nm silicon in the US, Ireland and Israel.
"That said, supply is undoubtedly tight, particularly at the entry-level of the PC market," Swan added.
Beyond confirming that it continues to expect volume production for its 10nm chips in 2019, the firm hasn't said when it expects 14nm production to be back on track. According to Brit PC maker Novatech, however, the CPU shortage will affect the forthcoming launch of Intel's ninth-generation Core processors and unlikely will be resolved until "2019 at the earliest".
And although Intel's announcement helped raise share prices by 2.6 per cent following the post, it might not be enough to convince OEMs to continue business instead of flocking to rival AMD.
According to reports, Team Red is on track to snaffle 30 per cent of the desktop CPU market in the fourth quarter of 2018. µ
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