Intel Whiskey Lake Shortage Impacting Notebook Supply, Ryzen Mobile Plentiful – Reports

TrendForce expects Intel’s worsening 14nm CPU shortage to impact notebook shipments during the lucrative holiday season as Whiskey Lake processors fall behind schedule.

In an announcement today, the analyst outfit also predicted the reduced supply of notebooks will result in reduced DRAM and SSD pricing. Surprisingly, the firm also contends that Intel’s CPU shortage will push into the latter portions of the first half of 2019 (1H19), which might open the door for AMD’s Ryzen Mobile products.

Several analyst firms are upbeat that AMD’s Ryzen Mobile processors have finally begun to make tangible progress in the laptop market. A bevy of partners, including blue-chip firms like Dell, HP, Acer and Lenovo, have competitive products at decent pricing.

AMD has already increased its laptop market share to 4.9 percent in the third quarter, a 1.7 percent increase over the prior quarter, and that progress occurred before the Intel supply problems. Most importantly, AMD products are expected to be plentiful during the coming holiday season. That means AMD machines will avoid any price hikes that Intel-powered notebooks might face due to the shortage.

The report comes as Intel deals with the fallout of its delayed 10nm process. The company’s 10nm production hasn’t ramped as expected, which is pushing unanticipated demand back to overbooked 14nm production lines. The shortages are also impacting the company’s desktop and enterprise processor lineups, and the issue has reportedly spurred Intel to outsource 14nm chipsets to third-party fab TSMC.

rendForce reports the CPU shortage in notebooks will accelerate from a five percent under-supply in August to a five to 10% under-supply in September. A DigiTimes report this week seems to reinforce TrendForce’s predictions. It notes that ODM Compal Electronics, which is set to become the world’s largest notebook manufacturer in 2018, has revised its forecasts down to flat for the latter part of the year. Inventec, another large ODM, reports that CPU shortages have already impacted its September shipments.

The analyst had already projected DRAM pricing to drop by two percent during the latter part of the year, but shortages will have the knock-on effect of reducing DRAM demand further. That should ultimately result in even lower DRAM pricing during the holiday season.

TrendForce also expects the shortage to impact SSD demand, which is logical given that more than half of all notebooks ship with an SSD. SSD prices are already plunging, and reduced demand in the notebook market could lead to incredible SSD retail pricing during Black Friday sales. Just don’t expect to pair your new SSD with a cheap CPU, especially on the low-end models.


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