Intel foresees capacity constraints in 2006
Increased demand across multiple product lines have kept Intel's manufacturing plants running at full capacity through most of 2005. This, in turn, has resulted in a shortage of low-end Intel chipsets as the company has juggled capacity in order to fill it's highest-priority orders. Now, InfoWorld is reporting that the current shortage will continue into at least the first part of 2006, although new 65nm technology and additional fab capacity set to come online later in the year could ease the pressure by 2007.
Even a short-term Intel chipset shortage can have a significant impact on third-party chipset providers, as the following DigiTimes article makes clear. VIA sales rose significantly compared to previous months in both September and October, while SiS showed notable improvement in October. Uli's partnership with ATI has apparently paid off nicely; ULi's sales were up 59.3% year-on-year in September and 37.5% year-on-year in October. All three manufacturers also predict strong Q1 2006 results, despite seasonal trends. There's obviously going to be a short-term opportunity for the third-party chipset manufacturers to gain ground in 2006—the question is, will any of them be able to convert that chance into long-term gains?