14nm Intel chip supply shortage to affect PC market

Intel pushed the production of 10nm Cannon Lake processors to 2019. Rumor has it that next month the company will unveil its 9th generation processors, but notebook manufacturers will still ship their products with 8th generation CPUs. Apple is expected to soon unveil new MacBooks powered by 14nm Intel 8th generation U-series Whiskey Lake, and Y-series Amber Lake chips. These were developed specifically for thin form-factor laptops.

Industry sources claim that the supply of new-generation 14nm Intel processors has already fallen short of demand. This will apparently pose problems for manufacturers like Apple, Acer, and others. While the new MacBooks are yet to be unveiled, Acer already introduced its thin laptop models at the ongoing IFA 2018. These are powered by the aforementioned Intel processors.

The global PC market is expected to pick up in the second half of 2018. That’s what Jason Chen believes, Acer’s chairman and CEO. However, “the tight supply of Intel’s 14 nm processors will pose a significant challenge to the supply chain management capability of brand vendors“, reports DigiTimes. CP Wong, president of Compal Electronics, a leading laptop ODM, agrees. Wong believes that Intel’s CPU supply performance poses a bigger variable for PC sales than the US-China trade-war. Poor yield rates are already affecting the industry, the report claims.

The outlook is worrisome, for the second half of 2018, as companies are working on contingency plans. These also contain risk-averting operations to avoid losses due to foreign exchange risks generated by the US-China trade negotiation process.

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Anton D. Nagy
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