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HP hopping mad at Merced-partner Intel

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Sources close to Hewlett Packard confirmed yesterday that it has expressed its displeasure to long-standing partner Intel over supplies of the ill-fated Coppermine processor. But although HP is hopping mad that it, like other major vendors, was given very little advance information when Intel launched the Coppermine family on October 25th last, it is still striving to keep its temper, given the two companies' close, but increasingly strained, cooperation on the Merced Itanium processor. Three weeks ago, we reported that one of Intel's most loyal customers, one of the top two in the notebook arena, was only given a few days notice of the introduction of mobile Pentium III Coppermine chips, when it usually received samples months in advance. Notebook machines, unlike desktops, demand a strict qualification and testing, and also require careful customisation of motherboards. A day after Intel announced the Coppermine family, we were able to reveal that the mobile Pentium IIIs were unlikely to be available in any quantity until Q1 2000 at the earliest. HP finds itself in the same boat as other tier one vendors, and not just on notebook devices. And the ire of the first tier vendors was reinforced earlier this week by Computacenter. A staffer at the mammoth reseller told The Register: "Computacenter is the largest (UK) reseller of IBM, Toshiba, HP, Gateway and Compaq systems. All of the above OEM's are saying the same thing [about Coppermine]." A senior analyst at a major Wall Street investment bank confirmed the HP reports to The Register yesterday. He said: "This is what I am hearing. Coppermine shortage is acute. HWP has indicated that they are not seeing much of it at all. "The Taiwanese motherboard and chipset vendors do not seem to be much worried. They are still treating this as a ramp-up issue. Intel is not saying much. [AMD's] Athlon is clearly getting all the publicity. You have indicated that GTW (Gateway) is going to say yes shortly. I strongly believe HWP (HP) is looking at it closely too. "However, Taiwanese suppliers for motherboards and chipsets are not expecting to see high volume in 4Q99. They are expecting high volume only in 1Q00 and beyond." ®

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