Intel Admits Atom Shortage But Boosts Production
Two days ago we reported on Intel's alleged shortage of Atom processors. When we contacted Intel to confirm the story, an Intel spokesperson refused to comment. Perhaps we had the wrong person on the wrong day, because it would appear that today Intel is coming clean about the Atom shortage with Computerworld:
"The new chip, code-named Diamondville, won't be officially released until June, but Intel Corp. has already been inundated with demands for early shipments, said company spokesman Bill Calder. He added that several PC makers plan to announce in June that they're working on Diamondville-based products. Many of the products announced in June should ship in the third and fourth quarters of this year, Calder added."
The Intel spokesperson we spoke with on Tuesday explained that any vendors who have already announced Atom-based products are "pre-announcing" (her words), since Intel's official launch isn't until next month.
Today Intel claims that it is increasing its output of Atom chips to help meet the unexpected demand. An Atom wafer can produce as many as 2,500 chips. As production continues to gear up, the yield (the number of chips that pass quality-assurance) can be expected to increase, thus producing more working chips from a single wafer. If Intel also increases the number of wafers produced, as Computerworld implies, that means a lot more Atom chips.