Intel 14nm CPU Shortage Will Intensify Next Quarter - DigiTimes

Credit: IntelCredit: IntelIntel continues to be plagued by its 14nm chip production shortage, a byproduct of record demand and a delayed 10nm manufacturing process, and today, industry soothsayer DigiTimes reports that the shortage will worsen in the second quarter of 2019.

According to DigiTimes, the peak season for Chromebook sales is approaching, which will have the knock-on effect of worsening the shortage of Intel's low-end 14nm processors. The Core i5, Pentium and Athlon chips currently comprise the brunt of the shortage as Intel focuses on producing higher-margin Core i7, i9 and Xeon products to maximize profits. DigiTimes predicts the shortages will impact the Core i3 series more prominently as the Chromebook season kicks into high gear.

Intel's production shortfall has led to a windfall of sales for AMD's low-end processors, helping the company register a sharp increase in market share in the first quarter of 2019. AMD recently introduced new Bristol Ridge A-Series processors to tackle the Chromebook market for the first time, setting the stage for more possible share gains in the second quarter. AMD has also broadened its notebook assault with new H-Series processors for the high-end and bolstered its mainstream lineup with a refresh of its Ryzen Mobile 3, 5, and 7 series CPUs.

The publication also noted shortages of the Amber Lake processors that power Apple's MacBook Air. It also claimed that Lenovo measured its chip shortfall in the hundreds of thousands. Third-party notebook manufacturers have also reportedly been impacted heavily by the shortages. 

Intel has announced several large investments to bolster its production capacity, with multi-billion-dollar fab expansions planned for its D1X fab in Oregon, along with expansions to its Israel and Ireland fabs. While Intel hasn't provided specific details about the expansions, including which process nodes the fabs will produce or a timeline for the new production lines to begin producing silicon, DigiTimes predicts the increased capacity will come online in the second half of 2019, boosting Intel's overall capacity by 25 percent and ending its production woes.