In brief: The Intel CPU shortage that has ben going on since August 2018 is reportedly showing signs of easing. Supply chain players have seen an uptick in orders and Intel clients are reporting that shipments of entry-level CPUs may start up again this summer.
The entry-level CPU shortages that began last year may be easing up soon. Despite previous projections from March that shortfalls would continue into Q2 2019, industry sources say that the drought in the entry-level market will ease up next month.
DigiTimes reports that Intel has informed notebook clients that it will be ready to start shipping lower-end CPUs by June.
“According to the shipment volume that Intel has promised, there will still be some shortages, but the shortfall will narrow significantly,” the sources said.
Supply chain vendors have experienced increased demand from the notebook market since the beginning of Q2 2019. The upward momentum is partially attributed to Intel’s and Nvidia’s release of new processors last month. The increase in the supply of entry-level units in June is likely to continue that upward trend.
"With Intel expected to increase supply of processors for budget notebooks in June, brand vendors such as Dell, HP and Lenovo are expected to step up placing orders with Intel rather than AMD."
The sources expect manufacturers including Dell, HP, and Lenovo to begin placing orders with Intel when the supply is restored. They had been relying on AMD during the shortage.
It is unclear whether Intel’s supply will trickle down to the smaller budget-priced notebook makers. Intel tends to prioritize higher-margin products. So the “big three” are at the head of the line. Companies like Compal and Clevo, blame the shortage of Intel CPUs on poor performance in Q1 2019.
“[Our] lackluster notebook shipment performance in the first quarter of 2019 was mainly caused by Intel's CPU supply shortfalls and not by market demand slowdown,” said Compal Vice Chairman Ray Chen.
Clevo, which handles contract procurement for notebook vendors in Europe, South America, and China said government projects have been going to Dell, HP, and Lenovo thanks to its clients not being able to secure a steady supply of Intel processors.
While shortages are expected to continue, we’ll have to see how much impact Intel’s supply has on the budget-minded vendors.