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Intel confirms 845 supplies are ‘very tight’

So buy some more Socket 423 parts...

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Intel has admitted that its 845 chipset is in short supply, for the immediate future, at least.

Speaking to reporters in Taipei today, Jason Chen, Intel's Asia-Pacific general manager said: "Overall for the whole quarter we believe we will be able to supply the market demand, but we believe we will see some short-term tightness."

"If you're talking specifically about a hot item, like the 845, it will be very tight," he added.

Chen's comments will fuel speculation that Intel has been restricting the availability of Socket 478 products in order to clear out stocks of older Socket 423 parts. Socket 423 Pentium 4 chips and 850 chipsets support Rambus' RDRAM memory, a technology Intel is broadly moving away from in favour of more popular types of memory. The Socket 478 845 supports PC133 SDRAM. An updated version, due early next year, will support DDR memory.

Motherboard makers in Taiwan - and system integrators over here - have claimed that Socket 478 P4s have been hard to come by of late. Intel has been accused of holding back on supplies of the part - and, presumably, the 845 - until supplies of Socket 423 P4s and 850 chipsets have dwindled somewhat.

Intel's official line is that there are no shortages, but we note that the company has privately told distributors that supply will remain a little tight until late November - the timeframe we previously reported that mobo makers were citing as the end of the shortages.

Chen said Intel is "pushing [its 845 supplier] hard to give us more, so we can have some more 845s". Why, then, isn't it doing the same with the Socket 478 P4? ®

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