During its earnings call with analysts and investors, ASUS commented that while the tight supply of Intel’s processors persisted, it is no longer as severe as it was in late 2018. The company said that based on claims of the chipmaker, it did not expect CPU shortages in Q1 2020, but the situation with Q2 2020 remained unclear. Meanwhile, to lessen the impact of insufficient supply from Intel, ASUS now offers more AMD-based products.

Intel has increased its 14 nm production capacity in terms of wafer starts per month (WSPM) by 25% in 2019 as compared to 2018, yet the company admits that its backlogged status will persist in the fourth quarter of this year, so not all of its partners will get all the chips they want. The world’s largest supplier of processors continues to give priority to production of server and higher-end client processors, so the situation with supply of entry-level products continues to be uncertain. Since ASUS is focused primarily on premium products, it was not affected by shortages of Intel’s inexpensive processors as severely as its peers who have more numerous inexpensive offerings in their lineups, though there was still some negative impact on the company.

Here is what S.Y. Hsu, co-CEO of ASUS, had to say.

“The Intel CPU shortage began in Q4 of last year and continued into Q1 of this year. In Q2 and Q3 of this year the situation is easing and the messaging from our partner tells us that in Q4, we still face some shortage. This is not something that is unique to ASUS, but affects the entire PC industry. As for 202… Currently, the information transparency lets… allows us to know that in Q1 we will have some – we will not have CPU shortage. However, there is not enough transparency for Q2 because this is a situation that has continued from Q4 of last year.”

Considering that sales of PCs are usually slow in the first quarter and Intel’s fabs are running at full steam at the moment (keep in mind that production cycle of modern CPUs is long), it is likely that supply-demand balance will be more or less met in Q1. Meanwhile, demand for computers in Q2 and onwards is something that is harder to predict.

In a bid to lower the impact of Intel CPU shortages, ASUS and other makers of PCs and components have developed more AMD-based products. In the desktop space, where AMD is very competitive and is gaining market share, this approach has clearly worked. In the laptop space, on the other hand, the lion’s share of ASUS notebooks is based on Intel processors. Meanwhile, notebooks in general commanded 71% of ASUS’ revenue in Q3 2019.

To lessen the impact of Intel CPU shortage, this year ASUS introduced several AMD-powered notebooks and began to promote them among retailers and end users, which is why they are now better received by the market than before, according to the company.

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Source: ASUS

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  • Dragonstongue - Friday, November 15, 2019 - link

    WSM only mean so much coming from Intel at this point IMHO, based on their numerous and costly delays many times over, cool they have "the fastest yada yada yada" but how many are actually on the shelf for a reasonable price to their customers (such as Asus) which leads to the end consumer (me and you)

    proper news when THEY (Intel in this case, likely allowed Asus to say such things without fear of mega law suit) tell the full truth of things instead of 1/2 baked baloney..quite sure Investors would feel very much the same..

    not that long ago they said similar things "have no fear we are on track for high volume production"

    delay delay, problem problem, to the tune of 10s-100s of millions (if not billions in case of failed 10nm RTM designs)

    Time will tell if they start actually meeting their overall demand without sacrificing many things to make it so (not to mention slap on higher price tag then they rightfully should have again IMHO

    this is going into 2020, the BS train should have stayed back a decade ago instead of finding new tracks to go on

  • Jorgp2 - Friday, November 15, 2019 - link

  • twotwotwo - Friday, November 15, 2019 - link

    And some time next year they're competing with Renoir, which should be closer in perf and power (though I expect Intel to stay ahead on battery life). If Skylake-ish laptop chips are still in the mix by then the comparisons will be interesting.

    I'd guess Intel sorts this out soonish: smaller laptop chips are "easier" for a new node, and they must get that leaving a big void here would be a huge mistake. Still, hard to rule anything out completely given how things have gone lately.
  • eek2121 - Friday, November 15, 2019 - link

    How do you figure? AMD is already far more power efficient than Intel. They have 16 cores consuming far lower power than an 8 core CPU for crying out loud.

    If anything, Zen 2 should absolutely sing on mobile.
  • twotwotwo - Friday, November 15, 2019 - link

    They're ahead on power under heavy load, which helps them fit more within a given TDP, but fine-tuning power use under light or no load is also a big part of battery life. The progress they've made can only help regardless, and I'd be happy to be surprised by better results than I expected!
  • jeremyshaw - Friday, November 15, 2019 - link

    Zen (not even Zen+) on mobile is already more efficient than Intel... under load. It's really idle and light loads where AMD is still losing. The answer probably still lies in the early Infinity Fabric analysis. Scales up and out, but cannot really scale down. Also, still hasn't provided faster time-to-market w.r.t. CPU+GPU integration, so far.
  • Jorgp2 - Friday, November 15, 2019 - link

    Not in the mobile space.

    And on the desktop they only have a lewd due to 7nm
  • yannigr2 - Saturday, November 16, 2019 - link

    On laptops Intel is far ahead from AMD in efficiency, and this comes from an AMD fan. Thanks to the fear of ARM and their huge investments on Atoms for over a decade, Intel has managed to create extremely efficient CPUs for laptops. AMD unfortunately had to drop some projects because of financial and other typed of constrains, so they haven't really invested in that area. 7nm are going to really help them allot but maybe not as much as to make them beat Intel in power efficiency. We can only hope to see mobile AMD CPUs that will offer at least close to the efficiency of Intel CPUs, while being at the same level of performance.
  • stockolicious - Saturday, November 16, 2019 - link

    Last I checked their were 6 large laptop makers and of the beginning of 2019 3 of them were INTC houses only. INTC controlled the entire laptop market along with NVDA. I am pretty sure Lisa Su has a plan around mobile as its such a big market. You are right that INTC does have some very efficient laptop chips but that should not surprise AMD. It will be interesting to see how good the 7nm mobile chips are from AMD.
  • yannigr2 - Saturday, November 16, 2019 - link


    Intel does have OEMs in it's pocket, probably bound to multi year contracts not yet expired, but because OEMs are in a business they intend to keep doing for decades, they can't switch to AMD before they are 100% sure that AMD will keep producing top chips for many many years to come, not just for a year or two. That and the fact that with Intel chips they can promote light and slim laptops with more battery hours than with any AMD solution, doesn't really help. But don't expect miracles from 7nm. Better efficiency, but not miracles. AMD hasn't invested there all those years, only on performance. AMD manages to improve efficiency only when it jumps to newer manufacturing node. It doesn't have the power and personnel to hit two targets at once, performance AND efficiency(especially at low load or idle).

    As for Nvidia, I don't think it has the same influence as Intel on OEMs. It sells more GPUs on laptop manufacturers because of the efficiency of it's designs and performance. But many OEMs prefer AMD low end cards than Nvidia for their cheaper models. The fact that Nvidia doesn't sell X86 CPUs, makes it almost impossible to convince OEMs to not chose AMD. Nvidia is a huge and really strong company today, but it could also collapse in a year or two if it loses it's advantages in GPUs. It sells nothing else that can bring billions. Only GPUs.

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