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'There will be a major shortage of Skylake CPUs until end of November'

Dominic Sacco
'There will be a major shortage of Skylake CPUs until end of November'

Intel's new 6th gen Core processors (aka Skylake) will continue to be in short supply for another couple of months at least, according to a source close to the situation.

UPDATE: The channel is still seeing a shortage of Skylake stock, and sources tell PCR the situation won't improve until January 2016.

Original story below:

Last month, several UK system builders told PCR about the Skylake stock shortage, following their initial launch at Gamescom

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Intel announced the full boxed retail launch at IFA last week, with the company saying the processors "deliver some of the most significant advancements in computing that we've ever seen".

Intel has been generally quiet on the stock shortages, though a spokesperson previously told Kitguru: "We are experiencing supply tightness due to strong demand and expect additional volume to be available as Q3 progresses."

However, PCR understands that the new Skylake processors - particularly the higher-end i7-6700K - won't be ready available until Q4.

"Intel doesn't have as many 6700k as they want, so it's in major shortage, and is predicted to be so until the end of November," a senior distribution source told PCR.

"The i5-6600k is in better supply, but it's still short. For the i7-6700K, it really is super short."

To compare the amount of stock to this time last year, PCR understands that Intel shipped roughly 90,000 CPUs into Europe in Q3 2014, and this year it's estimated this could be 60,000 units.

However, Intel now says it expects improved supply "soon".

The company sent the following statement to PCR: "The i7-6700K and i5-6600K are on sale now globally, however we are aware of short term supply limitations in some areas. We expect improved supply soon."

PCR has also heard a rumour that the stock shortages have pushed up prices in some areas, with etailers having to pay more for Skylake than usual from certain sources.

So what's the reason for the stock shortages? 

Some vendors and system builders have told PCR it's likely because Intel wants to clear Broadwell stock before pumping more Skylake CPUs into the channel, however Chillblast's Ben Miles disagrees. 

"Skylake is more likely yield issues. It's the worst shortage we've ever seen - I have less than 50 per cent of what I need," he said.

YoYoTech MD CK previously told PCR: "Skylake is a great opportunity, especially with DDR4. But the only fear I have is that we are seeing some issues in the delivery channel around Skylake. I’ve been assured by Intel they will get that right.

"We’ve got our Skylake CPU stock, but not as much as we wanted."

PCR's distribution source says there's another reason why Skylake is in short supply - it's because Intel has a lack of materials, so it can't make as many 6700ks as it needs for market demand.

"There have been issues getting the 6700k up to standard," the source said. "They can't get the quality right on the 6700k, so they are recycling them down to 6600k to get more stock into the market.

"In order to get to the speed required for a 6700k CPU, you need a better quality silicon - and Intel needs to get that quality of the silicon right." 

Are the Skylake shortages affecting you? Let us know in the comments section below this article.

Further reading: Entatech offers Skylake attachment opportunities

Tags: Intel, Retail, Distribution, Channel, UK, processors, Vendors, shortage, Skylake

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