Intel had big expectations for Sandy Bridge in notebook computers. The Sandy Bridge platform was the first CPU from Intel to offer graphics and the processor on the same die.
EWeek reports that FBR Capital Markets analyst Craig Berger has noted that after checks with six of the top ODMs for notebooks builds of machines using the new processors from Intel were lower than expected during Q1 and similarly low builds are expected in Q2 as well. Berger wrote, “While notebook demand could improve, and builds could get ratcheted up by June, our contacts suggest Intel’s Sandy Bridge products are not stimulating as much end demand as expected, likely impacting AMD, too.”
The reason that some think the Sandy Bridge platform isn’t selling well is the Cougar Point flaw that was reported back in late January. The flaw affected SATA ports on boards that used the chipset. The issue would likely result in reduced performance over time. Intel has started shipping the flawed chipsets again in configurations that won’t be affected by the SATA ports that may become non-functional over time.
AMD has already noted that Intel’s folly with the Cougar Point chipset has helped it to gain some ground. Other than the Cougar Point issue, analysts also think that the booming tablet market may be cutting into the notebook market resulting in reduced sales. AMD expected to benefit from the issue with Intel chipsets, but Berger doesn’t expect that benefit to last long. He thinks AMD’s Q1 revenue will hit the high-end of expectations or perhaps even exceed the high-end but he doesn’t expect that to carry over into Q2.
Berger said, “So, if AMD does achieve the high end of revenue guidance, or potentially better, the upside is likely short term in nature and due to customers turning to AMD for product when Intel’s Sandy Bridge was less available due to the chipset bug recall,” Berger said in the note. “For 2Q, we think AMD’s revenues will fall [quarter over quarter] given its 14th week in 1Q, Intel chipset goodness unwinding, and sluggish desktop builds, still rather unexciting.”
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