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Intel admits chipset famine

Prices hiked to cut demand, encourage move to 810

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Intel appears to be unable to meet current demand for its 440BX and 440ZX chipsets and has been forced to raise prices by up to 20 per cent in an attempt to cope with the problem. A Chipzilla spokesman confessed to US newswires that the company was indeed facing a shortfall of both chipsets, but claimed Intel is "working quickly" to meet motherboard vendors' demand for silicon. Still, it only has itself to blame. Quality and production issues with Intel's 810 chipset, aka Whitney, continue to hamper motherboard vendors' plans to move away from the 440BX and 440ZX. So it's no wonder they're keen to continue punching out boards based on the older chipsets in ever greater numbers. Demand for the chipsets have been led by recent hikes in PC shipments -- research companies IDC and Dataquest yesterday both reported 26 per cent increases in PC shipments during the year's second quarter, and fellow researcher PC Data recently revealed a 35 per cent hike in PC sales through retail and mail order channels for the month of June alone. Chipzilla claims to be increasing production volumes of the 810 more quickly than any other chipset it has offered. But without clear signs of a fix to the quality problems, it will have a job persuading motherboard vendors to use it. Unless, of course, ZX and BX chipset supplies dry up even further... ®

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