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Ashraf Eassa  

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  • Intel Q3 Earnings: Evidence Of Emerging Growth [View article]

    "As long as those volume channels look like they're being served, and they appear to be, the periphery channels that you're focused on will be served in time, but shortages in the periphery are not evidence of poor yields or Intel not meeting volume commitments."

    Now this is what I'm looking for, a real discussion! I appreciate the reply.

    So tell me what you think of this: Intel seems to be hitting its volume commitments to guys like Apple, Lenovo, HP, etc. with 14nm product, although I think a reasonable argument to be made that the larger/harder to make chips (i.e. SKL 2+3e) are still probably a challenge for Intel to meet demand as quickly as it can with the SKL 2+2 parts.

    Apple is selling Broadwell 2+3 (MacBook Air), Broadwell 4+3e (21.5-inch iMac), and Skylake (4+2). Most other OEMs are just selling 2+2 chips (Microsoft is selling a 2+3e in its highest config Surface Pro 4, though), though, which probably makes it easier to hit OEM demand. These 2+2 chips also don't need to run at 4GHz.

    I spent some more time on Newegg, and I noticed something interesting: the lower-bin i3/i5 parts (not unlocked/overclockable) seem to be available without issue, but it's the chips that run at aggressive clocks/are overclockable (6600K, 6700, 6700K) that seem to be basically nonexistent.

    I checked a whole bunch of other online retailers in several countries and the same phenomenon appears to be happening...either massive gouging or just plain old unavailability of the top chips.

    At the same time, the prices of the older 22nm parts such as the 4790K as well as even the 5930K Haswell-E have come down fairly substantially.

    What this says to me is the following: Intel can generally meet its commitments for the less-difficult-to-build 2+2 and lower clocked 4+2 Skylake chips (though I think it is still a challenge for them given the yields), but for the more difficult to build processors supply is essentially not there.

    And, in fact, it would seem that Intel is lowering prices on and trying to meet enthusiast/DIY PC builder demand by making the older generation 22nm parts cheaper/more attractive since the yields there are probably quite good.

    What does this mean? Well, to me it would suggest an issue with parametric yields on 14nm.

    Does this sound like a fair argument to you?

    Nov 23, 2015. 06:56 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Q3 Earnings: Evidence Of Emerging Growth [View article]

    "When Bill Holt says that they are meeting OEM demand for Skylake, I believe him. Period. I take his word over all these unsubstantiated rumors and misinterpretations to suit preconceived notions."

    OEMs aren't the only customers of Intel chips. I am sure that Intel is meeting demand from the big players like Apple, Lenovo, Dell, etc. and even a number of the smaller system vendors, but as you saw in the PCR article the folks in the white-box channel who need the highest-bin/hard-to-ma... desktop parts are struggling to meet their own demands.

    Additionally, Holt outright admitted to the "shortages" so even though he claims that Intel is meeting its commitments to OEMs doesn't mean that he's saying that all customer demand is being met.

    Again, when Haswell launched, there was plenty of stock on on day 1. I don't think anybody complained of a shortage. Same with Ivy Bridge, same with Sandy Bridge, etc.

    I know you want to take what these executives say at 100% face value, but Bill Holt doesn't actually buy his CPUs from like many of us do, so he's probably a bit disconnected from this reality.

    Nov 22, 2015. 04:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Q3 Earnings: Evidence Of Emerging Growth [View article]

    I had no idea that the PCR article linked to something that I wrote when I provided the link, thanks for pointing that out.

    Anyway, what's more important is the author of the article did his homework and spoke to customers of these products and it's clear they haven't been able to get the chips that they really, really need for months.

    Nov 22, 2015. 04:46 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Q3 Earnings: Evidence Of Emerging Growth [View article]

    "If you didn't expect to see tightness of supply given that schedule then you don't understand the business."

    This product has been out for three months and supply is still extremely poor. The lower end i3/i5 SKUs seem to be available, but remember that these are either much easier to manufacture die (in the case of the i3 which is a SKL 2+2; it also runs at lower frequency than the top 6700K; in the case of the i5 they're the i7 rejects that couldn't meet power/frequency spec).

    Anyway, here's another data point for you: how is the availability of the Core i5-5675c/Core i7-5775c? These are Broadwell quad core (4+3e) parts that launched back in June and -- lo and behold -- they're out of stock on, too! (5775C) (5675C)

    It's probably not a coincidence that these are fairly large dies (largest consumer 14nm dies currently available from Intel in consumer space).

    Nov 22, 2015. 04:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Q3 Earnings: Evidence Of Emerging Growth [View article]

    "It's that you're saying supply is crap"

    Supply is very, very tight for the highest end chips that are, not-so-coincidentally the hardest to build, look at the link with the comments from the UK PC builder that I posted above; these folks are really desperately wanting to get supply of (high end) Skylake so they can sell systems but they just aren't able to get ahold of it.

    The ones that need to run at high frequencies and/or feature large die sizes are particularly hard to get ahold of.

    "14nm costs are out of control, etc.."

    Look at slide 28. In the mainstream/value segments where they transitioned to 14nm product, the costs were WELL above where they had forecasted (and the forecasts already factored in some yield challenges since they didn't expect 14nm costs to cross below 22nm product costs until 2H 2015).

    What I am saying is accurate to the best of my knowledge and I have provided a lot of data that I believe supports my conclusions.

    Nov 22, 2015. 02:33 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Q3 Earnings: Evidence Of Emerging Growth [View article]

    "You're misleading folks again. That model doesn't launch until Dec 4th."

    It launched on November 20th. They are in customers' hands now, and you can find people on YouTube running benchmarks on them.

    But hey, it hasn't launched yet, right?

    Nov 22, 2015. 02:27 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Q3 Earnings: Evidence Of Emerging Growth [View article]

    "Newegg is not the only store that sells 6700k. There are plenty other stores. Try B&H Photo, they have it. They ship next day. There is no shortage."

    They do for the low, low price of $439.95! The chip has an MSRP of $350, so that tells you that they're gouging. Newegg, which was selling it for "just" $400, is out of stock.

    Intel is having trouble meeting demand for the 6700K, which is probably the toughest of the chips for them to build (since it clocks at a very high 4GHz base/4.2GHz turbo, has four cores, etc.) THREE MONTHS after launch.

    Also take a look at these comments from system builders:

    "We spoke before that we focused a lot more on the X99 product (Overclockers ran a promotion on this chipset to compensate for the lack of Skylake CPUs), and the 5820k processor as a solution around that, and that helped to smooth it out a little bit."

    But Relic said a short-term strategy can only do so much.

    "We were hoping that supplies would stabilize in September, but after going into October and November it hasn’t happened. It’s patchy, sporadic, takes time to arrive and the situation is similar across the entire UK and Europe channel, from what we can tell," Relic added.

    "We could use more. If a customer wants to be a Skylake system, it’s not available. The customer says ‘okay I’m not buying it,’ and goes somewhere else.

    "But the problem is they go somewhere else and have the same problem there. People don’t want to wait. We have spoken to a number of partners and they all have the same problem."

    There is a real shortage here and if this were a month or so after launch I would believe, "oh, customers didn't order as many as they needed" but three months after launch, with system vendors telling you that they are in desperate need of chips but they're not getting them, this points to supply and ultimately yield issues.

    There is a lot of evidence in the public domain that 14nm is still proving a challenge for Intel, right in line with what I have been saying.

    Nov 22, 2015. 02:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Q3 Earnings: Evidence Of Emerging Growth [View article]

    "Yea, I know Ashraf. Doom is around the corner. You'll get it right some day.

    You're short right? If you have conviction in your beliefs it would make no sense for you to be long."

    I am long INTC stock (and it is a large part of my portfolio) but I do try to remain as objective as possible when discussing these things. I can't let the fact that I'm long lead me to believe things that aren't true.

    "Ashraf, is that model released yet? Are you saying I have to wait for something to be released before I can get it?

    How long are you claiming the wait is?

    It would be nice to see you posting something of substance rather than having to go through this game of 20 questions with you."

    It launched on Nov. 20. You will have to wait for Dec. 4 for the 128GB model to ship and Dec. 18 for the 256GB model, last I checked. The situation may have changed (for better/worse). Additionally, the 6700K -- even at inflated prices thanks to retailer price gouging -- is once again sold out at

    I have followed Intel product launches for many years and never in my life have I seen such shortages. Usually Intel is known for hard launches with great availability.

    Anyway, it seems that this has devolved from a civilized discussion about INTC and the 14nm yields to you making personal attacks even though I have been nothing but civil to you throughout this entire discussion.

    I'm out. Believe whatever you would like.

    Nov 22, 2015. 05:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Q3 Earnings: Evidence Of Emerging Growth [View article]

    "I just took a look at the Microsoft Store online. I can order the 256GB or 512GB with Core i7 Surface Book for shipment right NOW."

    Yeah, that's a Skylake 2+2, smallest die config. Try ordering a Surface Pro 4 with that much larger 2+3e and see how long you'll have to wait ;-)

    Nov 21, 2015. 11:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Q3 Earnings: Evidence Of Emerging Growth [View article]

    "I did"

    OK. I assume you were at the Investor Meeting and spoke with Bill Holt himself? If so, that's helpful information, thanks.

    "You went into panic mode on 14nm yields referring to a bunch of financial information and previous charts put out by Intel. Many on this board told you that your "panic" was unwarranted looking at reported GM's and discussion of GM by management.
    You were wrong and they were right."

    I don't think so. The 14nm issues will impact product costs pretty significantly in the high performance CPU segment as Intel transitions these products from 22nm to 14nm. If 14nm were as healthy as you purport, then the impact wouldn't be as big as what Intel is projecting.

    Anyway, I think our stances on these issues are pretty clear. Let's just agree to disagree at this point, unless you think this back-and-forth can actually yield something useful then I guess we can keep it going :P


    p.s. Intel went into HVM on 14nm in Q1/Q2 2014 and they aren't projecting yields to match until sometime in 2016. AFAIK, Intel typically doesn't go into HVM until those yields do match, but they were forced to because they needed to refresh their product lines. I think this is pretty telling.
    Nov 21, 2015. 01:13 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Appoints Dr. Venkata ‘Murthy’ Renduchintala President, Client and Internet of Things Businesses and Systems Architecture Group [View article]
    Good move on Intel's part.

    Nov 20, 2015. 06:47 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Q3 Earnings: Evidence Of Emerging Growth [View article]

    "I didn't, nor did Holt, say that the original targets were met. However that doesn't mean they significantly missed. "

    They did significantly miss and it showed up in the actual mainstream PC costs v.s. projections and it's why DCG will see op profit under-grow revenue growth as 14nm takes over there.

    "You spin has involved hyperbole such as:
    a) "Intel is in a sort of "panic mode""
    b) "Nope that's just resellers gouging because supply is still crap."
    c) "14nm yield woes continue..."
    d) "14nm is not in great shape""

    (a) This is what I have been told by a source with knowledge of the situation that I trust. The source could be wrong, but I don't think so.

    (b) Do you think that resellers AREN'T gouging? Really think about this. To buy a 6700K today from or, you need to fork over $400+ ($399 at Newegg, $420 at Amazon, with only 2 left in stock as of writing!); MSRP is $350 and I purchased mine after launch (after stalking's 6700K page to wait for chips to come in stock) for $370.

    And of course they forced me to buy it in a combo deal, but that wasn't a problem because I needed a Z170 board + some good DDR4 anyway :)

    (c) The woes do continue as they still haven't matched 22nm yields even though management had first projected they'd match in early 2015, then 2H 2015, and now MAYBE late 1H 2016 but more likely 2H 2016.

    (d) It's not. Until is filled to the brim with 6700Ks and Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 with the larger 2+3e Skylake configuration are ubiquitous, I would say that 14nm is definitely in rough shape right now.

    If you would like to continue this debate further, you can send me a private message here on SA or shoot me an e-mail. I check both inboxes very frequently; this thread is just getting too hard to follow.

    Nov 20, 2015. 06:04 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Q3 Earnings: Evidence Of Emerging Growth [View article]

    "As to current yields, nobody is denying that 14nm yields are not at the level 22nm is at currently"

    Do you deny that Intel significantly missed its original projections from when 14nm yields would match 22nm yields?

    Nov 20, 2015. 05:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Q3 Earnings: Evidence Of Emerging Growth [View article]

    "Also the graph does actually compare defect density. I tend to believe the person that made the chart."

    Do you have a quote to support this? Or did you personally speak with the individual who made the chart?


    Nov 20, 2015. 05:42 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Intel Q3 Earnings: Evidence Of Emerging Growth [View article]

    You said "historical range" not "target range" previously.

    Yes, their target is between 55-65%, but if 14nm yields were in the shape that they had hoped I really think they'd be above 62% next year. And that's why I think their guidance is 62% +/- a couple of percent.

    If yields improve faster than expected (or they see a big demand boom for high margin products, for example), then they'll be higher. If yields don't improve at the rate they hope or something else, they'll come in lower.

    We'll have to see, but I really don't understand why you are trying to deny that Intel is facing 14nm issues when even Bill Holt said so.

    Nov 20, 2015. 04:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment