In what could be a sign of the times, chip maker Intel has announced that they will be slowing down production of motherboards for the traditional PC over the next three years, and will instead, focus all their efforts on tablets, smartphones and ultrabooks.
“We disclosed internally today that Intel’s Desktop Motherboard Business
will begin slowly ramping down over the course of the next three years.
As Intel gradually ramps down its motherboard business we are ramping
up critical areas of the desktop space including integration of
innovative solutions for the PC ecosystem such as reference design
development, NUC and other areas to be discussed later,” Intel said in a
The company added that the staff working on motherboards will be
redistributed throughout the company in other roles. “The internal
talent and experience of twenty years in the boards business (which
until recently has been largely focused on desktop tower type designs)
is being redistributed to address emerging new form factors – desktop
and mobile – and to expand Intel’s Form Factor Reference Design (FFRD)
work and enable our partners to develop exciting new computing
The slowing down of production will not have an effect on the
company’s processor microarchitecture, Haswell, as Intel said that it
will be available in normal volumes and quantities for the fourth
generation Core i7 products. After that, they will rely on other makers
such as AMD and MSI to outfit their products.
“The Desktop segment continues to be a major focus for Intel with
hundreds of products across many subsegments and applications. Intel
expects the broad and capable DT motherboard ecosystem (ie Asus,
Gigabyte, MSI and many others) to fully support Intel’s growing roadmap
and large worldwide customer base. Intel’s Desktop Motherboard Business
will not develop any new Intel branded desktop motherboards after
completion of Haswell-based 4th gen Core launch products in 2013 and
will continue to support all products sold through the warranty period
included with the specific product,” the statement further explained.
The news does not come as a large blow to the industry, as Intel was
not a major player in the motherboard space. Other companies such as
Asus and Gigabyte have the markets cornered and supply most of the
motherboards found in retail PCs.
With the technology space being fiercely competitive, it makes sense
for Intel to focus all their effort on tablets, smartphones and
ultrabooks as there has been a shift in the industry towards these
And gamers should not be concerned about the next generation of
consoles, as there are strong rumours that AMD will be supplying the
motherboards for the next Xbox and PlayStation consoles.
By Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor