New Intel chipsets to launch but not fly?

— 11:16 AM on April 21, 2004

Taiwan's DigiTimes has a perplexing report up saying Intel's new PCI Express chipset, code-named Grantsdale, "will not become mainstream until the first half of next year." DigiTimes claims the report is based on information from sources at motherboard manufacturers. This news comes as a bit of a surprise, if true, because the chipsets are widely expected to launch in the next few months. The report is also pessimistic about the prospects for PC sales for the rest of the first half of 2004, and says Grantsdale won't help sales.

What we could be seeing here is a little bit of a pessimism because first-generation PCI Express motherboards likely aren't showing significant performance increases over current systems. For this reason, and because PCI Express is a very big change for the industry, Taiwan's mobo makers may be anticipating a long, slow roll-out and adoption of PCI Express systems, during which time motherboard makers ship a pretty even mix of PCI and PCI-E products. And if PCI-E isn't madly compelling right away, manufacturers probably aren't expecting a big sales boost from us early adopter types. At least, that's my take on what we're hearing.

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