Report: Intel production shortfall could limit PC market

September 12, 2018 // By Peter Clarke
A shortfall in Intel's production of 14nm processors could limit the growth of the PC market in the second half of 2018, according to a report from Digitimes that referenced unnamed sources.

Intel recently announced the eighth generation of Intel Core processors with the U- and Y-series, formerly code-named Whiskey Lake and Amber Lake, respectively. These processor series are optimized for connectivity in thin, light laptops but are designed for manufacture in Intel's 14nm FinFET process. Intel has reportedly delayed the launch of 10nm processors to the second half of 2019, fuelling speculation that it is having trouble in obtaining viable commercial yields on its leading-edge processes.

This delay has also fueled speculation that Intel is falling behind foundry manufacturers TSMC and Samsung in technology. TSMC and Samsung are already manufacturing using 10nm FinFET processes and are about to introduce 7nm FinFET processes (see China claims 7nm chip lead with Kirin 980 ).

The global PC market has been in the doldrums for several years, partly hampered by poor Windows operating system transitions, but with replacement cycles finally lining up with reasonable economic conditions it was expected to pick up in 2H18. Intel dominates the PC processor market and tight supply of its leading-edge processors will pose a challenge to supply chain management, the report said.

A lack of Intel processors could prove a boon to rival processor supplier Advanced Micro Devices Inc. and any PC makers who have design AMD in. AMD went fabless several years ago and could now take a lead by offering higher performing 10nm processors made for it by foundry TSMC.

Intel's is a supplier to Apple for its MacBook and MacBook Air computers although there is speculation that Intel could soon be designed out as Apple pursues the same self-design and foundry manufacture of processors that it has adopted for the iPhone and iPad.

Related links and articles:

Digitimes report

News articles:

China claims 7nm chip lead with Kirin 980

Samsung early with 7nm process, says report

Analysis: Outpaced by TSMC, GloFo cuts its cloth


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