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Intel offers clarification on 'Ivy Bridge' chip delay

Chip giant says that reports of an eight-week delay are "inaccurate." It's actually just a "few weeks."

Intel today spelled out in more exacting detail just what the Ivy Bridge chip delay means in the wake of comments published Sunday from an Intel executive.

"Reports of an eight-week delay to the Ivy Bridge launch are inaccurate and our schedule has only been impacted by a few weeks," spokesman Jon Carvill told CNET today.

So, for instance, if a desktop Ivy Bridge product was slated for an April launch, that would be pushed to May. And a mobile product scheduled for May, would launch in June. Intel always staggers production schedules. For example, Intel's most power-efficient ULV (ultra-low-voltage) parts typically ship later than other (e.g., desktop quad-core) parts.

On Sunday, Sean Maloney, executive vice-president of Intel and chairman of Intel China, told the Financial Times that Ivy Bridge chips would be delayed until June.

Carvill added that once the Ivy Bridge chips launch, Intel will bring up production faster than the current Sandy Bridge chip.

"We expect to ship over 50 percent more volume of Ivy Bridge units to the market in the first two quarters of production in 2012 as compared to Sandy Bridge [in the same time frame last year]," he said.

The chips most affected by the delay are the ULV products, according to people at Intel familiar with the delay. ULV chips are in high demand for ultrabooks.

"There was real high demand for ULV and we weren't going to have the volume we needed for that with respect to the original launch timeline," one Intel person familiar with the circumstances surrounding the delay said.

A report last week from Asia claimed that PC vendors were having trouble digesting their laptop inventories--which use the current Sandy Bridge processor--due to the weak global economy. And this was forcing Intel to delay Ivy Bridge shipments.

Updated on February 28 at 10:15 a.m. PST: corrects "then" typo.