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Scarcity of mobos hits AMD platforms

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Suppliers of systems using AMD's Athlon processor have reported a shortage of motherboards for the chip to plug into. That follows an exceptional day of trading in AMD shares, with the price of each rising to $55 before trading shut in Wall Street. For most of last year, AMD's share price trundled along at between $16 and $20, following consistently bad financial results. Suppliers of systems have reported a major shortage of boards using the Via KX-133 chipset, because of concerns over yields, as we have reported earlier. There are limited supplies from companies like Epox, but large mainboard firm First International Corporation (FIC), like Via a subsidiary of Formosa Plastics, is delaying pushing the boards out of the door. However, on the other hand, FIC is the first third party mobo maker to have its mainboard certified by AMD as suitable for the 1GHz Athlon. We understand that Chaintech, another big Taiwanese mobo manufacturer, is also chary about pushing the boards out of the door and still wishes to further test the KX-133 because of concerns over reliability. FIC is telling smaller system builders that widespread availability of KX-133 mobos is unlikely until April. "Good" boards are being supplied to OEMs with large orders first. Meanwhile, although AMD said widespread availability of its 1GHz Athlon was not likely until next month, some sources are offering the processors at a premium, selling them at nearly $1,400. Street prices for the 950MHz and 900MHz Athlons, meanwhile, have already fallen from Monday's launch prices, with the 900 costing $860 and the 950 $950 for authorised AMD dealers. ®

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