Taipei, March 25, 2011 (CENS)--Global supply chains of personal computers have slowed down on account of the defect Intel Cougar Point chipsets supporting Intel Sandy Bridge microprocessors, casting a cloud over expectations of February and March sales of these suppliers.
Intel launched Sandy Bridge processors early this year, but it soon notified subcontract suppliers of PC motherboards to stop shipping the boards as soon as Cougar Point was identified shortcoming. Although Intel began delivering debugged chipsets early February, the volume has been quite low, affecting shipments of PC supply chains worldwide.
Many suppliers in the chain, including manufacturers of analog ICs, LCD drive ICs, hard disc control ICs, and NB camera modules, said their shipments for February fell nearly 15-20% from a month earlier. Also, PC assemblers' demands for graphics chips, as well as wireless and wirelined chips have slumped.
Shipment slowdowns have prompted chip vendors to temporarily suspend contracts to silicon foundries and chip assemblers. Some industry executives noted that foundry supplier Vanguard International Semiconductor Co. (VIS) had seen contracts for LCD drive ICs fall while Nvidia and AMD had asked Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) to defer deliveries of the 40nm graphics chips they contracted. United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) has been informed of temporarily suspending production of hard disc control ICs and NB camera modules.
Foundry suppliers stressed that their contract buyers are not scraping but delaying orders.
Chip assemblers said their sales would return to normality in April after a weak March associated with the shipment slowdowns.
Contract PC makers think supplies of the chains will come back to normal early next month.
(by Ken Liu)