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A few days ago, we pointed out Intel has had delays in opening its 45nm plant in Israel.

Since then, signs of this have multiplied. Asus expects “severe shortages” of Atom processors until
“well into the third quarter.”

That level of delay is just for single-core Atoms. Dual-core Atoms will be delayed even more, until at least Q4.

Under normal circumstances, one would suspect that Intel was having some problems making these chips. However, Intel is putting out 45nm chips, just not enough of them. That precludes technical flaws. Low fab yields are a possibility, and cannot be precluded, but if that were a serious, unresolved problem, President Otellini would have had to have been downright Hectoresque when he promised 45nm crossover by the end of Q3.

It also should be noted that Intel said in its conference call that the priority in 45nm production would be server, notebook, desktop, and they have already had 45nm crossover for the server chips.

What wasn’t said at the conference call was anything about any fab delays. In fact, outside of that late February article, there hasn’t been anything said about Fab28.

Maybe the date has wiggled a bit forward, so the Israeli fab will open June 29, and thus technically open “on time.”

However, the forecasted shortages tell the real truth.

For at least the next few months, I’m afraid the CPU “competition” is going to be between two companies that can’t make very many of its latest products.

Ed


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