September 16, 2009

OEMs wait for a Capella to take the stage

Converge CPU Update.

Converge is tracking an increase in demand over the August period as indications for September suggest that the holiday peak season has begun. Repair markets have been steady in demand, but cost-savings opportunities are becoming fewer as shortages dominate.

Shortages replace savings.
Microprocessors, which spent the early summer period as a cost-savings opportunity, lurched into shortage during August, with the Intel N270, T9400, T9500, T9600, T3400, E6300, E6320 and E5400 all being sought-after parts. For example, Converge observed a swing of 30 percent in the market price on the T9400, which is an unusual trend during an otherwise stable summer.

Some older reliable processors, such as the Q6600, are stuck in short supply. We have mentioned this model many times in our Market Insights updates over the past year, and it stubbornly remains in demand, with market supply limited.

The repair market was also hit by this late spike in pricing, as it principally affected older parts that were sliding into end of life. However, demand remains steady, with normal supply availability.

Awaiting the Capella arrival.
As we look toward the end of the year, Converge is anticipating the arrival of the Capella family of microprocessors. It marks quite a departure for Intel's mobile market, as Intel seeks to match AMD's Fusion platform. This new family of CPU, chipset and Wi-Fi card will ultimately make the Intel Montevina obsolete, making many OEMs nervous as they seek a consistent brand for the peak holiday season. The arrival of Capella microprocessors was originally scheduled for the third quarter this year, but we understand that delays are expected, with a new release schedule to be announced shortly. The CPUs will feature the i5 and i7 part numbers, which were introduced for the desktop CPU range earlier this year.

Also of interest will be the OEM or TJ models that are expected in the market. Tier-two and tier-three manufacturers, who traditionally do not have access to these processors, will look to the open market to provide the first supply of the T4xxs and T6xxs replacements. Converge will provide updates on developments in future editions of Market Insights.

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