Intel has admitted that it "got its sums wrong" in predicting the number of chips needed in Europe this year.
The news follows complaints from UK distributor Datrontech that demand for Pentium II 300MHz and 333MHz processors is outstripping supply.
A spokesman for Intel said "Predictions for the last quarter of 1998 were made at the beginning of the year. We underestimated demand in Europe and had a more pessimistic view than proved necessary." Intel claims it is now "up to speed" on shipments and promised "people will get their chips", with only a two to three week delay.
Alain Piquet, strategic manager for Cyrix believes Intel may be flooding the market with Celeron chips at the expense of Pentium II's. "Distributors I have talked to have plenty of Celeron chips but nobody wants them," he said. This theory was given some support by Mel Thomsen, consultant at chip analyst, Microdesign Resources in the US who believes "it's entirely possible that Intel is flooding the market with Celerons. We know there is some crossover between them and the low-end PIIs which now include the 300MHz and 350MHz models. Intel would obviously prefer to sell the Celerons".
The worldwide market for semiconductors will grow by 9 percent in 1999, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.