Intel has admitted that customers are suffering delays in receiving lower end Pentium II processors, claiming a deliberate shift to its Celeron consumer PC processors.
Sources close to Intel also revealed that price changes slated for 24 August will now be delayed until 14 September.
An Intel representative confirmed today that there was a shortage of PII/266 and PII/300 products. He acknowledged that the 266MHz chips would eventually be phased out, but said a newer 300MHz version was in the wings, which would be manufactured with an updated .25micron process. He would not be drawn on a date for that processor.
Intel will ramp up its Celeron family to replace the 266MHz chip. Next week, Intel will release high end Celeron processors using the next generation 'Mendocino' core.
But Intel denied that there was any deliberate attempt to restrict supplies of the Pentium II/266MHz to give a boost to Celeron. "This is not a deliberate strategy," the representative said. "Celeron will ramp to replace demand for the lower end members of the Pentium II family. This is how we see the market moving."
At the same time, Intel revealed that there is also a shortage of MMX parts, caused by problems with a packaging supplier.
Prices for PII/266s have risen over the last week because of increased demand, but Intel said it was maintaining the same OEM and distributor prices.
Mark Davison, processor product manager at distributor Datrontech, confirmed there were serious delays at present.
"Customers are screaming frantically for products. It's been going on for a couple of weeks now. We have a demand 10 times bigger than our supply. It's hard to keep customers even moderately happy," he complained.
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