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Centrino update: in short supply

Notebooks with Intel's new wireless technology may be hard to find

Intel has been unable to keep up with demand for Sonoma, its notebook technology introduced in January.

"We are pleased with customer demand for Pentium M processors and Mobile Intel 915 chip sets. And as a result of strong demand, we are somewhat lean on Sonoma component inventory," an Intel spokesperson said.

Sonoma is the code name for the latest update to Intel's Centrino package of notebook technology. It includes the Pentium M processor, the AIviso chip set, and the Intel Pro/Wireless chip for 802.11 Wi-Fi networks. This new revision improved the speed at which data moves between components in the chip set, and offers added support for faster memory.

Intel has said it expects to shift its notebook customers to the Sonoma platform by the end of 2005, and several major notebooks manufacturers around the world have released systems with the new technology.

The supply constraints should be fixed by the end of the quarter as the company raises production levels, the Intel spokesperson says.

Intel's inventory levels were quite volatile in 2004. In the third quarter, the company announced it would cut back on production based on weaker-than-expected demand for its chips combined with higher-than-expected yields from its new 90 nanometer processing technology.

That situation had reversed by the end of the year, with Intel CFO Andy Bryant saying that supply was more constricted than he would like due to stronger-than-expected demand.

Paul Kallender of the IDG News Service contributed to this report.


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