Thursday, November 21st 2019

Intel Hasn't Yet Resolved its Supply Challenges: Top Executive

Intel executive vice-president and general manager for sales, marketing, and communications, Michelle Johnston Holthaus, in a letter addressing the company's customers and partners, expressed regret that the company hasn't been able to resolve the challenge of PC CPU supply falling behind market growth (demand) despite its "best efforts." She elaborated on these efforts by summarizing additional billions of dollars in capital-expenditure the company spent in retrofitting its facilities to 14 nm fabs. The added capacity increased Intel's output in 2H 2019 by a "double digit" percentage compared to 1H, however, even that proved insufficient to cope with market demand. "Sustained market growth in 2019 has outpaced [Intel's] efforts and exceeded third-party forecasts," she said.

"Supply remains extremely tight in our PC business where we are operating with limited inventory buffers. This makes us less able to absorb the impact of any production variability, which we have experienced in the quarter. This has resulted in the shipment delays you are experiencing, which we appreciate is creating significant challenges for your business," she added, probably referring to the vast portfolio of dozens of SKUs of products that aren't yet EOL, but share the same 14 nm node. Intel deployed its product representatives to proactively reach out to all their customers to "answer their questions." This is probably another way of saying "retaining your businesses." Intel is embattled on two fronts: to make its 14 nm supply keep pace with demand; and to quantitatively transition to the newer 10 nm process.
Source: Intel
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24 Comments on Intel Hasn't Yet Resolved its Supply Challenges: Top Executive

#1
thesmokingman
It is kind of crazy that their products are still in that degree of demand that they are suggesting. Crazy!
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#2
gdallsk
Both parties have problems with this, its just that Intel is more vocal about it.
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#3
R-T-B
thesmokingman
It is kind of crazy that their products are still in that degree of demand that they are suggesting. Crazy!
I mean, it's mainly that monolithic designs benefit gaming, and Intel's the last duck playing that game.

It's a short term benefit though. Intel knows that I am sure and that's why they are working hard on all these exotic interconnects.
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#4
PrEzi
AMD will help them to resolve this issue sooner or later. I am sure of it :D
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#5
thesmokingman
R-T-B
I mean, it's mainly that monolithic designs benefit gaming, and Intel's the last duck playing that game.

It's a short term benefit though. Intel knows that I am sure and that's why they are working hard on all these exotic interconnects.
I don't think its due to monolithic design but the 14nm process. Heck, even AMD were pimping 5ghz out of the box with the FX line.
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#6
R0H1T
It's simply because of the fact that Intel can supply the numbers that most customers expect, then there's the small "little thing" called rebates. There's rumors that AMD could use Samsung as a second foundry option on 7nm, given the fact that TSMC fabs are in high demand it would be quite understandable. Also gets them away from the risks of relying on a single foundry.
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#7
R-T-B
thesmokingman
I don't think its due to monolithic design but the 14nm process. Heck, even AMD were pimping 5ghz out of the box with the FX line.
It's not the mhz that matter, it's the latencies, and monolithic vs chiplet has everything to do with that.
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#8
thesmokingman
R-T-B
It's not the mhz that matter, it's the latencies, and monolithic vs chiplet has everything to do with that.
What?
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#9
Animalpak
Yeah im waiting for my 9900KS supply here in Switzerland... :mad:
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#10
R-T-B
thesmokingman
What?
Intel's gaming advantage is not just raw mhz.

That certainly helps them but it isn't the core of it. The fact is communication between cores, memory, etc happen faster on one slab of silicon than across bridges.
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#11
thesmokingman
R-T-B
Intel's gaming advantage is not just raw mhz.

That certainly helps them but it isn't the core of it. The fact is communication between cores, memory, etc happen faster on one slab of silicon than across bridges.
Not even sure how you're gonna prove that. Never mind the fact that their "supposedly faster communication" doesn't do jack for them in multi threaded applications.
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#12
R-T-B
thesmokingman
Not even sure how you're gonna prove that.
It's not anything I need to prove. This is basic silicon science, and if you look at all intercore latency benchmarks and ms latencies to ram, a certain party ends up faster. It's no cooincidence their design is monolithic.

Chiplet is certainly the way forward for cost effectiveness reasons. Wafer costs and yields will eventually be crippling for Intel to keep this up. But this is hard science what I am stating. Monolithic performs better on equal clocks. But it will be costly, and eventually, completely unsustainable for anyone to do a complex high end chip on.

Or do you mean correlating the advantage to games?

Easy. Games are real time, latency sensitive applications. Even when downclocked to Zen 2 series cpu speeds Intel cpus still hold their own on games. Why is that? Zen 2 has higher IPC than skylake, right?

Look at the chiplets.
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#13
thesmokingman
R-T-B
It's not anything I need to prove. This is basic silicon science, and if you look at all intercore latency benchmarks and ms latencies to ram, a certain party ends up faster. It's no cooincidence their design is monolithic.

Chiplet is certainly the way forward for cost effectiveness reasons. Wafer costs and yields will eventually be crippling for Intel to keep this up. But this is hard science what I am stating.

Or do you mean correlating the advantage to games?

Easy. Games are real time, latency sensitive applications. Even when downclocked to Zen 2 series cpu speeds Intel cpus still hold their own on games. Why is that? Zen 2 has higher IPC than skylake, right?

Look at the chiplets.
Yea ok.
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#14
R-T-B
thesmokingman
Yea ok.
lol... nice talking I guess?

Keep in mind this isn't some fanboy post. AMD is far better prepared than Intel going forward and that's not a bad thing here. If anything this post is endorsing AMDs plan.
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#15
thesmokingman
R-T-B
lol... nice talking I guess?

Keep in mind this isn't some fanboy post. AMD is far better prepared than Intel going forward and that's not a bad thing here. If anything this post is endorsing AMDs plan.
I can see and smell BS just fine.
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#17
silentbogo
Smells like loads of BS from Intel to create a false sense of demand. They've been talking about CPU shortages for over a year now, and AFAIK I've never seen any shortages personally (not in Ukraine, not in US online retailers). And if they mean they can't pump out any more desperate products like cherry-picked i9-9900KS, or re-branded overclocked Xeons to be sold as HEDT i9's, or they don't have any more defective dies to be repackaged as F/KF i5/i7 variants, then it's not shortage at all.
If anything, our local retailers still have an abundant supply of 6-8th gen CPUs for mainstream and HEDT platforms (but still severely overpriced). Even the laughable i5-7640X is still in stock.
Same goes for mobile segment as well.
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#18
R0H1T
silentbogo
Smells like loads of BS from Intel to create a false sense of demand. They've been talking about CPU shortages for over a year now, and AFAIK I've never seen any shortages personally (not in Ukraine, not in US online retailers). And if they mean they can't pump out any more desperate products like cherry-picked i9-9900KS, or re-branded overclocked Xeons to be sold as HEDT i9's, or they don't have any more defective dies to be repackaged as F/KF i5/i7 variants, then it's not shortage at all.
If anything, our local retailers still have an abundant supply of 6-8th gen CPUs for mainstream and HEDT platforms (but still severely overpriced). Even the laughable i5-7640X is still in stock.
Same goes for mobile segment as well.
You misunderstand, kind of. I'll go back to the time when they were trying to break into the mobile/tablet space using "rebates" & although it's not as bad as it was back then, the enterprise & HPC markets are seeing huge discounts (in volume) for large purchases. Which one could argue, is creating an artificial demand for these chips were it not for the rebates or discounts. Basically they're subsidizing Xeons wherever possible & that's where the biggest "demand" is, so to say.
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#19
notb
PrEzi
AMD will help them to resolve this issue sooner or later. I am sure of it :D
AMD has even larger supply issues and they will quickly multiply as demand grows.
Intel at least is able to build their own fabs and have exclusivity in them.
silentbogo
Smells like loads of BS from Intel to create a false sense of demand. They've been talking about CPU shortages for over a year now, and AFAIK I've never seen any shortages personally (not in Ukraine, not in US online retailers).
Shortages are observable in the OEM channel - mostly mobile and server, where large clients order thousands of CPUs. Basically, Intel's delivery time is longer than it used to be.

It's difficult to notice this in retail, where a few CPU boxes standing on a shelf (or an active "order" button) give you a feeling that "there's no shortage".
thesmokingman
Never mind the fact that their "supposedly faster communication" doesn't do jack for them in multi threaded applications.
Yes it does. You're categorizing programs incorrectly, but I'm not surprised. You've shown multiple times that you don't know how computing works and you're unwilling to learn anything new (perhaps other than memorizing AMD slides).

You say "multi threaded" but you think about batch processing, where latency doesn't impact performance. A problem is divided into large number of small independent "jobs" that are flushed to the CPU and merged on output. Lags don't add up.

But there could be multiple parallel threads in the program that depend on each other and then latency would add up.

That's why there's a big variance between different benchmarks (that mimic different tasks). Some tests are dominated by AMD's core count advantage, but in some Intel wins despite having less cores (even at similar clocks).
If architectures were similar, the CPU having more cores and higher clocks would always win.
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#20
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
Yeah, this really sucks, I'm trying to build dozens of machines to replace old Windows 7 machines and the i5-9400 that I'm using is always sold out out being overpriced and most retailers put a 1 per customer limit...
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#21
EntropyZ
@R-T-B
I'm sorry, I have nothing to add that wasn't even a debate. They just don't want to admit the old dog came back to bite and take advantage of the situation. Some people saw this a mile coming.

You're on point, I was comparing my Phenom II 960T, the side-grade i5-2400 and some older cpus a lot in games and benchmarks 6 years ago. So it makes sense to me. This stuff used to fly over my head when I wasn't interested or just not having any knowledge in the inner workings of silicon.

It's either someone refusing to listen just because... or they're ignorant. I feel bad for him, honestly.
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#22
jgraham11
thesmokingman
It is kind of crazy that their products are still in that degree of demand that they are suggesting. Crazy!
Well, they kinda created this "shortage" on their own. Think about it, anyone who runs Intel servers now have to double the number of cores needed, because Intel themselves have recommended to disable Hyper-Threading because of all the CPU bug, last checked over I saw 162 CPU bugs and most can be executed remotely without software patches. Cascade lake (latest generation in late 2019) is even susceptible to Zombie Load 2, etc . So if your entire server farm is running Intel, are you going to switch CPU vendors??? Probably not, so instead they are forced to purchase more CPUs just to break even when it comes to performance.
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#23
R-T-B
jgraham11
because Intel themselves have recommended to disable Hyper-Threading because of all the CPU bug, last checked over I saw 162 CPU bugs and most can be executed remotely without software patches.
There is only one that can be executed remotely, and you need to a.) be on the lan and it's b.) extremely slow.

There is nothing like 162 cpu hardware issues. Try high single digits with most mitigated...

Yes, it's bad, but exagerations like that server no one.
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#24
Niyi1
There's rumors that AMD could use Samsung as a second foundry option on 7nm, given the fact that TSMC fabs are in high demand it would be quite understandable.
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