Update: Intel’s Core Processor Shortage

Has your organization been in search of an Intel processor for the past few months with no success? Finding that prices for the PC’s your enterprise has been eying have gone up? As frustrating as this might be, don’t be too quick to kill the messenger! It truly isn’t their fault.

Demand for high-profile products has increased pressure on Intel’s factory network and forced the chipmaker to prioritize fabrication of its high-margin central processing units (CPUs) over other products in the recent months. Despite Intel’s efforts to prioritize production of higher-end processors, there have still been some shortages with those products, resulting in delays and longer lead times for customers on both high- and low-end products.

The shortage has had a wide-ranging impact on the PC market, so if you have been one of the many customers feeling this shortage, you are not alone.

Intel interim Chief Executive Office Robert Swan attributes the company’s inability to meet expectations to the company’s struggle to execute a key manufacturing shift. Intel spent last month’s CES describing this switch; and in a bid to tackle the problem, Intel is allocating $1 billion to boost production of chips at its manufacturing facilities located in Oregon, Arizona, Ireland, and Israel.

Even with this investment, it takes months to install new equipment, so the new tools will unlikely impact throughput to correct the CPU shortage until the end of Q2 or Q3 of this year. Swan explained that this is primarily “because of the time it takes the supply to get built up throughout the entire channel.”

Intel has promised more direct, open, and transparent dialogue with its partners to help them plan and help their mutual customers also plan around the supply. So your MSP or product supplier will likely have better information for you moving forward, and if you haven’t heard from them, we recommend reaching out for an update.