Vendors gave a mixed response this week to the news that Intel?s 200MHz Pentium Pro chips will be in short supply well into next summer.
The bad news, confirmed by sources close to the firm, comes at a time when many vendors were hoping to cash in on the exploding demand for NT and sell large volumes of high-performance desktop machines based on the chips.
Compaq, which uses the Pentium Pro across its range, has already suffered a delay in production. ?We experienced a backlog this month, but the supply has started to increase since November. All the signals are that Intel?s yields are getting better, but if the shortage continues we will have a rolling backlog,? said Steve Jackson, Compaq group product manager for commercial desktops.
Dell hopes to sell almost 20 per cent Pentium Pro-based machines during the first half of 1997. ?We have planned for an aggressive growth of Pentium Pro and NT and have an aggressive forecast with Intel to ensure we maintain a good lead time,? said Phyllis Brady, product manager for the Optiplex desktop family at Dell.
?We have promotions in place which feature the Pentium Pro. If the shortage continued it could cause issues for us, but we haven?t been told to stop promoting.?
Intel said it was addressing the problem. ?We have experienced very high demand for the Pentium Pro processors and were aware of the problem back in November. But we have met our customer commitments for Q4 and are increasing output from Q4 to Q1,? said a representative.
High-end systems vendors like Sequent and Data General, which ship the Pentium Pro chips in their non-uniform memory architecture parallel machines, said they would be less affected than volume PC makers by a prolonged shortage. ?Our volumes are very low when put in context with the likes of Compaq and Dell,? said David Chalmers, head of technology at Sequent UK.
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