A shortage in supply of the latest Centrino chipset is thanks to high demand, Intel has claimed.

Manufacturers has been unable to get the number of Sonoma components they want since the laptop technology was introduced in January.

"We are pleased with customer demand for Pentium M processors and Mobile Intel 915 chipsets. And as a result of strong demand, we are somewhat lean on Sonoma component inventory," the company said in a statement.

Sonoma is the code name for the latest update to Intel's Centrino package. It includes the Pentium M processor, the AIviso chipset, and the Intel Pro/Wireless chip for 802.11 Wi-Fi networks. This new revision improved the speed at which data moves between components in the chipset, and added support for faster memory.

Intel has said it expects to shift its notebook customers to the Sonoma platform by the end of 2005, and several major notebooks manufacturers around the world have released systems with the new technology.

The supply constraints should be fixed by the end of the quarter as the company raises production levels, an Intel spokeswoman said.

Intel's inventory levels were quite volatile in 2004. In the third quarter, the company announced it would cut back on production based on weaker-than-expected demand for its chips combined with higher-than-expected yields from its new 90 nanometer processing technology.

That situation had reversed by the end of the year, with Intel CFO Andy Bryant saying that supply was more constricted than he would like due to stronger-than-expected demand.

Paul Kallender in Tokyo contributed to this report.