According to a report by DigiTimes, president and CEO of Compal Electronics Martin Wong believes Intel will continue to face 14nm CPU supply shortages well into the second half of 2019. Compal is an original design manufacturer (ODM) from Taiwan that has had customers such as Apple, Acer, Lenovo, Dell, Toshiba, Hewlett-Packard and Fujitsu.
Intel’s CPU Shortage
There have been multiple additional reports about Intel’s short supply recently. Intel itself has acknowledged the issue and recently we learned of its expansion of testing capabilities for 14nm processors.
Still, according to Wong, Intel hasn’t given its downstream partners a clear schedule for when the shortage might be solved, leading Wong to conclude that the shortages could last for at least another year.
Acer recently said that Intel’s CPU shortages have started impacting the whole notebook market, DigiTimes said in its report. Inventec, another Taiwanese ODM, has also had to cut its growth expectations for the third and fourth quarter this year to single-digit growth, according to the report.
Intel 10nm Woes Continue
Although Intel has made it seem like its CPU shortages are due to higher demand, the truth is the company’s plans included having its 10nm fabs ready so it can manufacture its latest chips on 10nm, while keeping the older chips on 14nm. Intel was also planning on taking orders from other customers (including for FPGA production for Altera, which Intel recently purchased).
Since the 10nm design failed to work properly and provide good yields, Intel was forced to manufacture its latest chips on the 14nm fabs, which, as you can expect, overcrowded those fabs.
Potential AMD Opportunity
AMD’s Ryzen chips have been rising in popularity, but notebook vendors have been the slowest to adopt the company’s chips so far. Intel’s CPU shortages into the next year could be a good opportunity for AMD to convince some laptop makers to use more Ryzen chips in their product line-ups.
As Intel faces supply shortage, the company has also started increasing the prices of its 14nm processors, which could also be risky if more consumers start to see AMD’s offerings as a better value.