Companies planning to upgrade their servers to new Cascade Lake-CPUs from Intel are likely to have to draw a line under those plans for 2020. Indeed, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) expects the shortage of such Xeon server CPUs to continue throughout this year.

Until at least April 2020, according to HPE, it will be extremely difficult due to a shortage of chips and advises to move to the Skylake processors: the new generation Cascade Lake is too popular to meet the demand. HPE also expects to see the effects of the shortage throughout 2020.

The Cascade Lake family, launched in 2019, will therefore have to make way for the CPU of which it actually was the successor (Skylake dates back to 2017).

The problem: Intel

In conversation with The Register, other major parties using the Intel chips also let it be known that the problem is not just occuring with HPE. In fact, they identified Intel as the biggest problem, as Dell and Lenovo are also in short supply. The fact that HPE honestly admits that there is indeed a CPU shortage is, according to sources, “only because other server makers are burying their heads in the sand.”

The main problem with vendors like HPE is that they have to line up at the back of the queue when it comes to getting the new chips from Intel. Priority is given to giants like Google, Amazon and Microsoft. As long as those companies continue to rely on the latest Intel chips, server makers (and, therefore, their customers) will have to be patient.