Intel faces long not very hot summer
Centrino 2 starts looking like a mirage
Intel will leave its OEMs facing a summer drought of new mobile chips after admitting its Centrino update, Montevina, would not appear till August at the earliest.
The update to the vendor’s mobile laptop chip range, also know as Centrino 2, was originally due this month, but was pushed back to late June a week or two ago. This would still have brought it in the H2 time frame it had originally been scheduled for.
However, it has emerged that a brace of problems means that the complete Centrino 2 package will now not appear till August. The vendor is having problems both with the chipset for the platform, and with the wireless platform’s antennae. The platform is supposed to support both Wi-Fi and Wimax.
The core chips, which will include Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Extreme Mobile are apparently doing just fine, and will be out the door by the end of July. However, as Intel always reminds, Centrino is a platform, not just a CPU.
Intel might be expected to distract its customers by pointing at its Atom line of processors which are supposed to be powering all sorts of new and interesting PC formats. The problem is that while plenty of machines powered by the diminutive chip have been spotted, the part itself is not around in the numbers OEMs would like. ®
The difference between Intel and AMD
The difference between Intel and AMD in this situation is that Intel has enough other products out in enough quantity (and have enough cash in reserve) that this is just a small bump in the road. When AMD has a months-long delay on a new chip the effect is so serious precisely because they depend on new revenue from new chip lines so heavily.
Hopefully the ATI purchase, which gives them revenue from graphics processors and a better chipset division will someday allow AMD some leeway in this area. Perhaps the NexGen products could be promoted more heavily on the low end, too, for more revenue from established lines.
Whether you favor one company over the other, no matter which, it'd be nice for competition if one didn't appear to be dangling just above bankruptcy every time a launch is delayed.