Intel to wind down desktop circuit-board business

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The chipmaker has said that it will leave the traditional desktop PC circuit-board business, as it focuses its resources on mobile products. As a result, the venerable tower PC will likely begin to fade.

An Intel desktop motherboard.
(Credit: Intel)

"We disclosed internally today that Intel's Desktop Motherboard Business will begin slowly ramping down over the course of the next three years," Intel said in a note to journalists today.

What does that mean exactly? Think of the PC tower systems that used to populate stores around the world. That's what Intel is winding down as it devotes more resources to ultrabooks, tablets and phones.

"The internal talent and experience of 20 years in the boards business ... is being redistributed to address emerging new form factors," Intel said.

Those designs will be mostly mobile, though Intel will also address "emerging" desktop designs. But even those — like the tiny Intel NUC board and the all-in-one — have their roots in the mobile world.

The end of development will come with Intel's upcoming Haswell chip generation, which is due to launch mid-year. "Intel will stop developing new Desktop boards once the Haswell launch is completed," the company said.

Of course, that doesn't mean the demise of the desktop altogether, as motherboard-makers, like Asus and Gigabyte, are expected to continue to participate in the market.

"Intel expects the broad and capable [desktop] motherboard ecosystem ... Asus, Gigabyte, MSI and many others ... to fully support Intel's growing roadmap and large worldwide customer base," Intel said.

Those board-makers cater to do-it-yourself builders, like gamers. Intel will continue to make high-performance chips for these extreme-performance systems.

"We are making significant investments in the enthusiast platform with our K SKU portfolio and new 3rd Gen Intel Core Extreme Processors," Intel told CNET in response to query.

This official disclosure by Intel follows rumours that Intel would stop making board connectors — the so-called Land Grid Array (LGA) socket — for desktops when a future generation of processors arrive after Haswell, under the code name Broadwell.

Intel declined to comment on these rumours.


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CSerruto posted a comment   

Don't really see the big deal here. Who buys Intel motherboards when Asus, Gigabyte, MSI and the others do far better jobs at far better value?


Dunners posted a reply   

My point exactly


seannnn posted a comment   

I think most of the commenters here have missed the point Intel will continue to make desktop CPUs and release reference chipsets for those CPUs, just getting out of the motherboard board game.


Dunners posted a reply   

I agree.
And i don't see what the big deal is. I never really was a big fan of Intel motherboards anyway.


Chandler posted a reply   

Mhmm... complete misread -.-

Moderators, feel free to purge my comment - what happen's on the internet doesn't HAVE to stay on the internet :D


DamienC1 posted a comment   

If they concentrate on mobile boards etc, couldn't PC's gain from that, by making the towers etc small or more all in one PC's?


CampbellS posted a comment   

Well there goes PC gaming as we know it. Now we will be left with 'console' graphics and their limited processing power and linear story lines. PC games will always be better. No longer will we get games like Crysis which will push the envelope.

Oh yay Im overjoyed. Thanks intel.
For the record I think tablets are useless peices of tech candy.


B_Chapman posted a reply   

Actually with Ouya coming, Android Tablets might get better with gaming.

BUUUUT there's still hope for PC's, AMD has no plans to scale back their Desktop work.


Chandler posted a reply   

Yeah... I'd say all this means is good news for AMD.

I do find the announcement odd however, since Intel isn't really in the mobile processor game at the moment: most processors in mobile devices presently are Qualcomm, Nvidia, etc... very rarely have I seen Intel processors in spec sheets..

Thus them announcing that they are leaving the market in which they dominate to focus on one in which I don't even notice their presence is a bit of a "WTF?" for me...


B_Chapman posted a comment   

Looks like AMD about to get a new fat market share, should probably invest now.

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