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Intel CuMines stiffed by suppliers

A factory is a complicated thing

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Continued difficulties in obtaining components is behind the latest delay in Intel Coppermine processors, we can report.

According to Japanese sources, a sliver of ceramic used to make Coppermine chips run at the right speed is still in short supply.

Although Intel CuMine chips are based on plastic packages, making a silicon chip is a very complicated process. Intel depends on thousands of suppliers to make everything work properly.

The rather hackneyed expression that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link is particularly true in this case.

As reported here in February, Intel found itself in a small fracas with one Japanese ceramic manufacturer, which made its shortage of CuMines even more acute than before.

When a Japanese gum factory caught fire in Sumitomo six years back, and strangely enough on July the Fourth, it caused prices to rise, principally because it was the only glue factory which made silicon chips work. ®

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