Wed, Feb 09, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Intel error hits notebooks, Daiwa says

HOLD THE CHIPS:Daiwa said 5 percent to 10 percent of Q1 notebook shipments could be affected by the design error, causing delays of two to three months

Staff writer with CNA

A design error on US IC giant Intel’s 6 Series chipset is expected to affect shipments by Taiwan-based notebook manufacturers, Daiwa Capital Markets said yesterday.

“The impact of Intel’s design error on its 6 Series chipset is not just about a product recall — the bigger impact is that the notebook supply chain’s shipping schedule for the new platform has been totally disrupted,” the brokerage said in a research note.

The Intel 6 Series chipset is used in computers equipped with Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors, which started shipping on Jan. 9.

Since it discovered the design error at the end of last month, the US company has stopped shipping the chip and has started to -manufacture a new version that corrects the problem.

Daiwa said the error may delay shipments of notebook computers by between two and three months, affecting 5 percent to 10 percent of shipments for the first quarter of this year.

At the moment, notebook computer ODM service providers have to wait for the new version of the Intel chipset, which may not reach full production until April, Daiwa said.

Compal Electronics Inc (仁寶電腦), the world’s No. 2 laptop computer maker on a contract basis, expected the chip error to cause a decline of between 5 percent and 7 percent in the company’s shipments this month, company president Ray Chen (陳瑞聰) said yesterday.

Whether the impact will continue into the second quarter of this year will depend on the progress of Intel’s production and delivery, Daiwa said.

“We reiterate our negative rating on the notebook sector,” the brokerage said.

Because of the design error, shares of notebook computer stocks fell sharply on the Taiwan Stock Exchange yesterday, with Acer Inc (宏碁) closing down 3.28 percent at NT$76.7 (US$2.64) and Quanta Computer Inc (廣達電腦) falling 2.28 percent to end at NT$60.10.

However, Daiwa said it was maintaining a hold recommendation on Hon Hai Precision Industry Inc (鴻海精密) and Catcher Technology (可成) because they enjoy better profit margins than their peers.

Taiwan’s ODM vendors, which manufacture most of their notebooks in China, account for almost 90 percent of global shipments.

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