HPE warns of continuing Intel supply issues

Written by Jennifer Allen

January 21, 2020 | 15:00

Tags: #cascade-lake #shortages #skylake

Companies: #hpe #intel

In a message acquired by The Register, HP Enterprise has warned of industry-wide shortages of Intel chips throughout 2020.

Via a document sent to HPE staff, HPE suggested that there will be 'supply constraints' on Intel Cascade Lake parts until at least April, urging customers to 'consider alternative processors' in the meantime.

The full statement explained:

"Based on demand, we are expecting supply will remain constrained through 2020. Server platforms which use these processors are affected. In order to minimise customer impact as a result of these supply constraints with Cascade Lake processors, HPE urges customers to consider alternative processors, which are still available. We are in constant dialogue with our partners at Intel and have a strong relationship with them, and we know they are working on the issue."

The suggestion is that customers should switch to the Skylake Xeon line of processors instead. Essentially, the lesser equivalent of Cascade Lake, having been launched back in 2017. 

It's no secret that Intel has been struggling with supply issues for a while now. While it regained its title as world's largest semiconductor vendor earlier in the month, it's not having a great time of keeping up with demand. Late last year, Intel was confident it would resolve issues by the third quarter and then the fourth quarter. No word has been issued yet on when it thinks it'll catch up this time round. 

HP Enterprise isn't the only company affected, of course. The Register spoke to senior figures within various resellers and distributors who all said that Dell and Lenovo were suffering similar problems. 

The thinking behind the shortages is potentially due to Intel working on its 10nm node factories alongside the 14nm fabrication lines, but somehow failing on keeping up with either. There was a time when the priority was server chips over desktop and mobile processors, but that's mostly led to everything falling behind. Put it down to a curious mix of major companies wanting more servers than ever, and the simple matter of PC sales going up for the first time in years

Regardless of the reason why it's happening, it's not a great look for Intel. At a time when AMD is growing in strength and enthusiasts are choosing it over Intel, it's hardly the time for Intel to be faltering in any type of market share - enterprise or otherwise. 

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