There is a shortage of Intel chipsets, thanks to a spike in demand for PCs, according to the world's largest motherboard maker.
Demand rocketed after both Intel and AMD slashed prices in late July to make way for their new products, but the sharp rise has caused component makers to scramble to keep up, said Sunny Han, marketing director at Asus.
"This year, the problem is with the 965 chipset," Han explained. He said he did not know of any production glitches, believing instead that the sharp upswing in demand caught companies by surprise. The usual back-to-school peak has also exacerbated the problem.
Asustek supplies almost 40 percent of the world's motherboards, giving it a unique view of the PC industry and the component supply situation. An executive from Giga-Byte, 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.
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. Early this year, Intel 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.
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.