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AMD Athlon 64: Strong Demand or Weak Supply?

Category: CPU

by Anton Shilov

[ 09/22/2003 | 08:06 AM ]

There is unofficial information coming from Taiwanese mainboard manufacturers about tight supply of AMD Athlon 64-series of microprocessors coming from over here. Mainboard makers claim that they would like to see more AMD 64-bit processors for desktops in the market, but they are afraid of short supply by AMD at this point.

Based on the information we reported in August, AMD plans to sell about 300 thousands of AMD Athlon 64 microprocessors for both Socket 940 and 754 this year. Since there are a bit more than three months left till the end of the year, AMD should supply a little bit less than 100 thousands of AMD64 CPUs for desktop computers every month. This is not much, especially given that the whole world has been waiting for the chips for more than a year already and quite a lot of end-users want to acquire a 64-bit system with AMD inside.

Furthermore, we remember that all semiconductor companies always satisfy the needs of OEMs and System Integrators first, only then they start selling chips to end-users in retail channel. As a result, in case there is high demand for AMD Athlon 64 and AMD Athlon 64 FX processors among big PC companies, the supply in retail channels may be very tight.

Profit margin of retail mainboards is tangibly higher compared to margins received from products manufactured for OEMs. Hence, most of mainboard makers are very interested in selling loads of retail mainboards for AMD Athlon 64 chips because the vast majority of AMD64-based desktops this year will be acquired by enthusiasts, who usually get advanced and expensive mainboards. In general, mainboard makers benefit from every single additional Athlon 64 CPU in the channel.

Other unofficial sources claim that AMD had succeeded in solving problems with core-speed and SOI technology and now the firm is able to supply more or less sufficient quantities of its 64-bit chips. Thus, unless AMD sells great quantities of Opteron CPUs, made from the same silicon wafers as Athlon 64, the Sunnyvale, California-based company should supply enough desktop 64-bit processors. The only question is who will be the main consumers of the AMD Athlon 64 and AMD Athlon 64 FX processors this year: OEMs or end-users from retail channel.

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