A shortage of Intel chipsets has crimped PC sales, giving rival AMD an expected boost in the PC market.
PC sales have been far stronger than expected in the past three months, but could have been even higher without the chipset shortage, said Sunny Han, director of marketing at Asustek - the world's largest maker of computer motherboards.
Asustek could have sold 10 percent to 15 percent more motherboards, according to Han. It takes several weeks to finish production of a chipset, meaning output increases can take some time to actually reach the market. This year has been especially hard because brisk demand for a number of electronics goods has kept chip factories humming, with little excess production left over for the chipset emergency.
In August, Intel said stronger-than-expected PC demand had forced it to reduce production of certain kinds of chipsets because its factories were already full of orders for higher-margin products. The manufacturer has been battling to keep up with chipset demand for much of the year.
Since Asustek supplies almost 40 percent of the world's motherboards, it has a unique view of the PC industry and the component supply situation, and can see which chips are hot sellers.
Representatives from a handful of Taiwanese motherboard makers confirmed that the Intel chipset shortage has been particularly good for AMD. "It's a shortage of Intel chipsets, AMD has been fine," said one Taiwanese motherboard executive, speaking on condition of anonymity. "A lot of distributors have been suggesting to their customers that they use AMD because there's no shortage of AMD components."