The channel is bracing itself for a dearth of Intel chipsets after the manufacturer admitted that excessive demand has led to a worldwide shortage of some of its most popular ranges.
The shortfall in BX and ZX chipsets will hit motherboard manufacturers hardest, but the channel may feel the effects starting this week.
Intel alerted distributors to the problem last week by email, which stated that due to a global shortfall in 440BX and 440ZX AGP sets, there was likely to be limited availability in some branded desktop boards in the months ahead.
The Intel statement read: "All 440BX and 440ZX-based desktop boards are in extremely strong demand. Some existing orders, as well as all the recent ones received from Intel authorised distributors, may have a longer than expected lead time."
As a result, recent reports from Taiwan have suggested that motherboard manufacturers may have their supply of chipsets slashed by as much as 50 per cent in the coming months. The motherboards affected will be the SE440BX-2 and SR440BX range, the BI440BX and the RC440BX.
Sven Mahon-Daly, general manager of components at Computer 2000, told PC Dealer: "If the shortage is serious, then the effects could begin to be felt in the channel in as little as a week."
But Mahon-Daly was quick to assure the distributor's customers that it was unlikely they would be greatly affected. "We are aware of the problem and are keeping an eye on developments, but sometimes these shortages don't reach down as far as distribution," he said.
"If the problems affect Computer 2000, there are other chipsets and motherboards that we can look at," he added.
- Manufacturer Compaq last week launched two eight-way servers, based on the Profusion Symmetric Multi-Processor (SMP) architecture co-developed with Intel.
The Proliant 8000 and 8500 are aimed at ISPs and ASPs, which the vendor believes is a significant growth area. The combined value of both markets is expected to grow from $7.85bn to $27.7bn in just 12 months, according to data company Forrester Research.
Compaq aims to win pole position in the ASP and ISP markets from rival Sun Microsystems.
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