Even though Intel's Atom processors are small and inexpensive to manufacture, it looks like the chip giant won't be able to meet initial demand for its much-awaited low-power microprocessor. Intel will reportedly fill less than 40 percent of orders for Atom chips in the next month, and this is expected to delay shipments of ultra-portable notebooks in the short term.

The company insisted that there are no manufacturing hurdles involved with Atom, saying they've just received more orders from PC makers than what they had originally anticipated. Intel is bumping up production to address this issue but the shortage for the upcoming Atom chips will be felt until third quarter of 2008.

PC makers affected by this include Acer, Dell, MSI, and Gigabyte. For Asus and HP, however, the shortage of Atom CPUs may open a brief window of opportunity them as their ultra-portables don't rely on the Atom processor. The Asus Eee PC 900 runs on an Intel Celeron M chip (at least until mid-2008) and the HP Mini Note uses a Via CPU.