SANTA CLARA, Calif. (ChipWire)-- An apparent packaging error will delay the 550-MHz "flip-chip" Pentium III by about a month, although OEM sources contacted by EBN say they
are not overly concerned.
According to multiple OEM sources, Intel Corp. has notified PC companies that the 550-MHz FC-PGA or "flip-chip" form factor will be delayed until the end of February. Sources said the reason for the revised schedule was a failed delivery in the chip's flip-chip packaging.
OEM sources said the problem is confined to the 550-MHz version, and not a similar 500-MHz speed grade expected to be introduced on schedule at the end of January.
When reached for comment, an Intel spokesman was unaware of the problem but said "bumps in supply" could occur in what is a very tight market for semiconductor components.
Intel is still in the first stages of rolling out the new flip-chip form factor, so named for the way in which the chip's 370-pin package is mounted onto the die. Because Intel has moved the level-2 cache onto the chip, the Single-Edge Cartridge Form Factor (SECC) package can be eliminated, saving cost.
OEM and industry sources said they were relatively unconcerned over the delay. "We're in the ramp-up stage now," said one CPU broker, who asked not to be identified. While a representative at a top-tier direct-sales OEM said the company will delay the launch of its flip-chip products, a
source at a competing vendor said the company had planned to introduce its new PC product line at the end of February anyway and so won't necessarily be affected by Intel's delay.
A spokesman for ASE Inc., in Phoenix, the U.S. branch of Advanced Semiconductor Engineering Inc., a Taiwan-based package house and the world's largest, said his firm was not responsible for any of Intel's flip-chip-packaged products. A representative for Flip-Chip Technologies LLC, also in Phoenix, which licensed its technology to ASE last April, did not return calls requesting comment.