Intel CPU Shortages Hitting Whiskey Lake as Ryzen Mobile Volumes Ramp

Intel CPU Shortages Hitting Whiskey Lake as Ryzen Mobile Volumes Ramp

Trendforce has announced that its lowering its expectation for mobile sales due to ongoing shortages of Intel’s new Whiskey Lake CPUs. The company writes:

Intel originally planned to begin mass production of CPUs based on its latest Whiskey Lake platform in 3Q18, when the notebook market would be in the busy sales season. However, PC-OEMs are now finding an insufficient supply of Whiskey Lake CPUs, which has disrupted vendors’ notebook shipment plans for this year’s second half. Therefore, TrendForce now estimates that this year’s total notebook shipments will drop by 0.2% YoY, and the CPU shortage may further impact the entire memory market as well.

Intel CPU Shortages Hitting Whiskey Lake as Ryzen Mobile Volumes Ramp

The impact of the shipping shortage could drive some additional reduction in DRAM prices after years of climbing, but DRAM prices aren’t supposed to change much through Q4 2018. NAND prices could fall faster (possibly bringing on those price declines we’ve heard to expect through the end of this year and into 2019). Meanwhile, AMD is slowly ramping Ryzen Mobile into a real product, with an estimated 4.9 percent of the mobile market. Our slideshow from AMD’s original Ryzen Mobile launch, with details on the architecture, is shown below:

Earlier this week, Susquehanna analyst Christopher Roland wrote:

AMD is the winner of 3Q18 PC-SIGnals Most data points for AMD were constructive, including better desktop share (+1.5% QOQ), better laptop share (+1.7% QOQ), and higher aftermarket GPU share (+4% QOQ). Lower (retail) graphics card pricing is a downside, but somewhat expected as crypto demand is now virtually zero.” Furthermore, “While AMD continues to ramp in Desktop CPU (16.7% model share, up +1.5% from 15.2% in 2Q18), the company (finally) appears to be ramping in laptops with Ryzen Mobile. In 3Q18, we estimate that AMD held 4.9% model share for laptops in 3Q18, up +1.7% from 2Q18 (3.2% share). HP and Acer are driving the 3Q18 Ryzen uptick.

These are significant wins for AMD and imply that the company could see increased market share gains in Q3 and into Q4 2018 if Intel continues to have trouble with 14nm. Right now, barring any alternative explanation, we’re still leaning on the delayed 10nm transition and possibly increased demand for Intel products as accounting for this trouble.

Intel itself isn’t talking about the issue very much — while it has acknowledged the production shortfall, it’s said nothing about why or which products are affected. It’s thought that the company is prioritizing its highest-value chips and product lines, but the details aren’t known. That means we also don’t know how significant the shortfall could become or how long it will last.

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