Intel Corp, the world's top PC microchip maker, said on Tuesday it is seeing strong orders from its Taiwan manufacturing clients, despite expectations among some analysts that a slowdown is looming.
Demand is still strong, Intel's Taiwan manager Jason Chen told Reuters on the sidelines of a company event, when asked about the company's sales in the fourth quarter.
He added that the company was seeing usual seasonal trends, without any unusual slowdown, for the first three months of 2008.
The first quarter of the year is normally slower for Taiwan manufacturers, who collectively supply about 80 percent of the world's laptop computers and include Quanta Computer and Compal Electronics .
Intel's outlook for continued healthy growth in the personal computer (PC) sector came despite warnings from some analysts of early signs of an industry slowdown.
Last month, Goldman Sachs analyst Henry King said he had become more cautious on PC growth in the fourth quarter as market sentiment tones down amid concerns of a potential slowdown in the U.S. market.
Other analysts have expressed similar views, saying demand, especially from corporate customers, could slow down starting in the fourth quarter and into next year, with major banks likely to cut spending because of losses linked to the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis.
At the same event attended by Intel's Chen, Asustek Computer Inc, the world's largest motherboard maker, also said it expected motherboard sales to grow around 5 percent in the fourth quarter from the third quarter.
The forecast is reasonable, and since more desktops are being replaced by notebooks, motherboard sales have seen some decrease, said an analyst at JP Morgan.
The firm's shipments in the fourth quarter will also be close to the third quarter, said Joe Hsieh, Asustek's vice president of product marketing for the motherboard business unit.
The company had previously estimated its 2007 motherboard shipments would hit 63 million, up 13.5 percent from 55.5 million units last year.
On Tuesday, Asustek shares fell 0.49 percent, while the broader TAIEX index rose 0.65 percent.