Intel Corp., which is expected to be the world's largest semiconductor supplier by the end of this year, is apologizing to customers for delayed shipments of CPUs. In a letter to customers, Intel said supply remains extremely tight in its PC business "where we are operating with limited inventory buffers. This makes us less able to absorb the impact of any production variability, which we have experienced in the quarter."
Read the full letter here.
Intel said recent ramp-up efforts have increased its CPU output in the second half of this year. Technology news site TechRadar, however, expects CPU shortages could extend well into next year:
"We recently heard rumors (from Intel partners including big-name laptop manufacturers) that the CPU shortages could continue well into 2020, for at least another quarter or two, and that speculation would seem to marry with Intel’s latest comments on the matter.
Meanwhile, Intel faces further pressures from AMD which is kicking up a storm with its latest Ryzen 3000 processors, not to mention Epyc server chips. And this leaves Intel in a strange and uncomfortable position whereby it is staring down the barrel of an intense supply/demand conundrum, while simultaneously facing major pressures from AMD that has meant Intel has been forced to slash prices on some CPUs despite the shaky supply lines.
Intel, then, is being pulled one way and another by stock shortages and demands of a different kind on the price-cutting front. Meanwhile, the dominance of Ryzen 3000 desktop CPUs is making further demands in terms of the urgency for Intel to push out new 10th-gen Comet Lake processors – a further refinement of 14nm which, admittedly, are looking impressive from the recent leaks we’ve seen."
Intel was the number one ranked semiconductor supplier in 1Q17 but lost its lead spot to Samsung in 2Q17, according to IC Insights. It also fell from the top spot in the full-year 2017 ranking, a position it had held since 1993. With the strong surge in the DRAM and NAND flash markets in 2018, Samsung went from having 7 percent more total semiconductor sales than Intel in 2017 to having 12 percent more semiconductor sales than Intel in 2018. With a forecasted 34 percent drop in the memory market this year, Intel is once again expected to rank as the largest semiconductor supplier and have sales that are 26 percent larger than Samsung in 2019.