March? April? May? Nope ... June! Too many Sandy Bridge CPUs still in the pipeline.
Intel recently notified its partners about plans to postpone mass shipments of its upcoming Ivy Bridge processors. Despite that the company will still announce the new products and ship a small volume of the processors in early April, mass shipments are not expected to occur until after June, according to sources from notebook players.
Because most first-tier notebook vendors are having trouble digesting their Sandy Bridge notebook inventories due to the weak global economy, while Intel is also troubled by its Sandy Bridge processor inventory, the CPU giant plans to delay mass shipments of the new processors to minimize the impact, the sources noted.
With Intel changing its launch schedule, notebook vendors have all started adjusting their projects for new Ivy Bridge models; however, the notebook vendors still believe the PC replacement trend is unlikely to start until after September, when Microsoft launches Windows 8, and the first three quarters of 2012 will still be a dark period for the notebook industry.
However, Intel's decision to slow down its Ivy Bridge processor launch will benefit USB 3.0 chipmakers such as Renesas, ASMedia and Etron allowing them to earn an extra quarter of sales, according to sources from the chipmakers. The sources pointed out that the share of third-party USB 3.0 chipmakers in the notebook market was originally expected to drop to only around 20% in 2012, but with Intel's delay, their share is expected to climb back to 50%.