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The organisers of the Computex trade fair in Taiwan are reporting that local manufacturers face a severe shortage of components. That is set to lead to a severe shakedown in the market by year end, according to the organisation, which shelters many local manufacturers under its wings. There is already a severe shortage of TFT panels, which has had an adverse impact on PC manufacturers' sales of notebooks, as reported here earlier. The report claims that there is not only a shortage of Intel BX and ZX chipsets (which we will confirm later), but resistors, flash memory SRAM, graphics chips and various TTL (transistor-to-transistor-logic parts). If true, that presages price increases not only for the many large companies like Compaq, IBM and Toshiba, which source from Taiwan, but also for end users. Paradoxically, microprocessors are unlikely to be in short supply and prices are set to continue falling. ®

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