While Intel said the delay would not have a significant impact on first-quarter revenue, the issue represents a rare technological slip for the Santa Clara, California-based microchip leader.
The chip, which Intel has given the codename Dothan and is produced using Intel’s most advanced manufacturing equipment, is now expected to be available in the second quarter, which runs between April and June, Intel said.
“We were disappointed that we did not begin shipping Dothan as planned,” Intel President Paul Otellini said during a conference call to discuss Intel’s fourth-quarter earnings.
“Although performance of the product is as we expected, our validation processes recently showed the need to make some circuit modifications to enable high-volume manufacturability.”
Otellini said Intel had redesigned the circuits on the chip and had seen new versions working as they should.
Dothan is to be Intel’s update to its Pentium-M line of processors, a key component of its Centrino brand of chips for portable computers.
Dothan is produced using some of the most advanced microchip production tools in the world, which are able to lay onto chip features as small as 90 nanometers, or billionths of a meter.
In previous public statements, Intel executives had targeted the end of last year for shipments of Dothan. Some in the industry had since expected Intel to release the chip in February.
Following billions of dollars of investment in its chip factories in recent years, Intel made a push to 90-nanometer production, which allows smaller, more powerful chips that consume less power.
Shipments of Prescott, a version of its Pentium 4 processor for desktop computers that also uses 90-nanometer production, started in the last quarter, Intel said.