Intel chipset shortage 'extends to high end'

Demand for DDR 2 to suffer?

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Intel's chipset shortage is spreading, with supplies of high-end desktop parts becoming as increasingly hard to obtain as its low-end offerings.

Unnamed motherboard-maker sources, cited by DigiTimes, say supplies of the 945G integrated chipset line-up are tightening, joining the entry-level 915 family in short supply.

Some commentators say the shortage could impede the uptake of DDR 2 as mobo manufacturers turn to alternative products that support only the original DDR SDRAM spec. However, DDR 2 chipsets from Intel's competitors are starting to ship.

Earlier this month, Intel CFO Andy Bryant admitted the chip maker had "sold out" of notebook chipsets, and in August the firm said it was adjusting its chipset output to favour higher end, higher margin parts, effectively moving the company out of the low-end chipset market, albeit temporarily.

Last week, Intel said it was pumping $345m into two of the company's 200mm-wafer fabs in the US, in part to increase production capacity for chipsets.

According to some reports, Intel's own motherboard division has had to source low-end chipsets from ATI and SiS to make up for lack of in-house stocks. ®