Intel has warned its partners than its next-generation processor, known as Ivy Bridge, has been delayed.
According to a report on hardware news website DigiTimes, Intel still intends to announce new products and ship some Ivy Bridge chips in early April. However, mass release of the processors will not happen until the second half of 2012.
The report indicated that the delay is due to poor sales of machines powered by the current generation of chip, known as Sandy Bridge. This is thought to be the result of the faltering global economy, rather than a problem with the hardware itself.
The Ivy Bridge chip, once released, will power the next generation of ultrabooks (pictured), which are essentially slim, light and powerful laptops.
The news will come as a blow to ultrabook vendors, which will now be unable to meet sales and revenue targets until later in the year.
The report also suggested that most firms will put off any new major tech refreshes involving ultrabooks until the release of Windows 8, which is expected this year.
Microsoft has indicated that the next iteration of its operating system will be released in 2012. The beta version is currently available for download.