The next-generation Intel chip destined to populate the upcoming crop of ultrabooks is delayed, an Asia-based report claims.
The delay of the "Ivy Bridge" processor is being reported by DigiTimes, a publication that typically voices the concerns of device makers. Those concerns are just as often opinion as they are fact.
That said, the key point is that volume shipments of Ivy Bridge won't happen until "after June," Digitimes said, citing sources at "first-tier notebook vendors [that] are having trouble digesting their Sandy Bridge notebook inventories due to the weak global economy."
A "small volume" of Ivy Bridge processors will ship on schedule in April, the publication added.
The report also mentions that the PC replacement cycle won't begin in earnest until September "when Microsoft launches Windows 8."
Ominously, DigiTimes says the first three quarters of this year--before Windows 8 is released--will be a "dark period" for the notebook industry.
But before we go any further, let's revisit what Intel said during its earnings conference call on January 19.
Here's a comment from CEO Paul Otellini: "We'll launch Ivy Bridge, our first 22-nanometer product, in early spring. Ivy Bridge will improve on the graphics performance of Sandy Bridge by more than 70 percent. The industry will bring more than 70 new Ultrabook designs to market this year. And when Windows 8 launches, we'll be ready with both PCs and tablets."
Later in the call, Chief Financial Officer Stacy Smith said this: "We have a very fast ramp of Ivy Bridge, strong demand."
What is a fast ramp? Smith never explained so it's not clear if this would contradict what DigiTimes is claiming.
It's also worth noting that peak production of new Intel chips typically doesn't to happen until a few months after the official technology announcement.
Intel declined to comment.