Demand spike is causing new Intel chipset shortage

A spike in PC demand has created another shortage of Intel chipsets in recent weeks.

A spike in PC demand has created a new shortage of Intel chipsets, potentially reviving an issue blamed for causing the company to lose market share to rival Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) last year.

Demand for new PCs spiked after the two microprocessor makers slashed prices for desktop chips in late July, but the sharp rise in purchases has caused component makers to scramble to keep up, said Sunny Han, director of marketing at Asustek Computer, the world's largest motherboard maker.

"This year, the problem is with the 965 chipset," said Han, referring to the shortage. He said he did not know of any production glitches, believing instead that the sharp upswing in demand caught companies by surprise.

"Back to school demand is very strong in the U.S.," he said.

Asustek supplies almost 40 percent of the world's motherboards, giving it a unique view of the PC industry and the component supply situation. It can see which chips are hot sellers.

Motherboards are the printed circuit boards inside every PC that connect its microprocessor, chipset, other components and peripherals.

An executive from Giga-Byte Technology Co., another Taiwanese motherboard maker, said the shortage exists among several chipsets in the 965 family, citing the G965 chipset for mainstream desktop PCs, in particular. He declined to be named in this story.

Intel announced the 965 chipset family in June, including the Q965, G965 and P965 for mainstream desktop PCs. The chipsets work with the company's latest microprocessor, the Core 2 Duo.

Last year, a serious shortage of certain Intel chipsets helped rival AMD snatch away some market share. Chipsets control the flow of data between the microprocessor and other chips in a PC, and they have to be made for specific microprocessors. A chipset made for an Intel system, for example, cannot be used in an AMD system. A shortage of Intel chipsets could, therefore, boost demand for AMD processors and chipsets to meet PC demand.

Intel's previous chipset woes cleared up early this year, and the company vowed to make sure there was no repeat. The world's largest chip maker set aside two advanced chip plants to manufacture its new 965 chipset family and ensure a plentiful supply, said Richard Malinowski, general manager of Intel's chipset group, at a meeting with Taiwanese PC component makers in June.

Intel declined to immediately comment on the latest chipset issue.

The problem could grow if demand continues to rise. It takes several weeks to finish production of a chipset, meaning output increases can take some time to actually reach the market.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Dan Nystedt

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?