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Big PC vendors furious over Intel Coppermine yields

Serious supply problems affect intro of faster machines

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First tier PC manufacturers are hopping mad over delays they have experienced receiving supplies of Coppermine .18 micron processors from their main supplier Intel. And the reaction of the PC manufacturers to the continuing problems they are experiencing suggest that Intel has had difficulties making enough high quality .18 micron processors to keep both its customers and the general public happy. The phrase "first tier" applies to companies which have major market shares worldwide, and would include firms like IBM, Dell, Compaq and Hewlett Packard for desktops and servers, and companies like Toshiba and Fujitsu Siemens for notebook machines. One executive at a major PC manufacturer, who asked for conditions of strict anonymity, told The Register:"Everything I see and hear regarding Intel and Coppermine is that there are very serious yield problems on virtually all Coppermine processors. So much so that, on one occasion recently, our engineering facility got their first touch of a new chip four days before Intel announced it, not the usual three to four months." He said: "The main reason for breaching normal etiquette is that Intel is trying to put a "blame the OEM" (original equipment manufacturer) spin on most problems." He said that an Intel spokesperson quoted in InfoWorld recently said that mobile Coppermine chips had been delayed for one month at the specific request of OEMs. "He failed to point out that, as we hadn't seen the chips, no-one was in a position to test designs, let alone ship product," he said. The problem was not just confined to his company, he added. "Talking to my ex-colleagues spread around tier one vendors, this is true of all of them," he claimed. Intel admitted one day after launch at the end of October that supplies of Coppermine processors "would be tight" during the fourth quarter of this year. Mobile Coppermine parts are in particularly short supply, according to internal Intel documents we saw at the time. Meanwhile, a distributor who regularly receives updates from Intel, said that there were now limited supplies of 700MHz Coppermine Pentium IIIs and of the company's flip chip Socket 370 processor. But, he added, although there are now plentiful supplies of the Intel Cape Cod (CC820) motherboard, it was still impossible for money or for love to get hold of the Intel Vancouver (VC820), which uses the ill-fated Rambus memory. Last week we reported that Intel's own i840 motherboard, the OR840 (Outrigger) is now delayed after a launch on the 25th October, and at the same time that the chip giant will cut its Coppermine prices on the 12th of December next, much earlier than expected. ® Huge shortages, technical problems hit Coppermine debut Intel will cut Coppermine prices earlier than expected Intel confirms OR840 late

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