Tuesday, 22 January 2013 20:56

Intel to Exit the Desktop Motherboard Market In Three Years

Written by
Rate this item
(2 votes)

Reading time is around minutes.

Today Anandtech had an announcement from Intel about a reduction to their desktop motherboard business with a ramp down planned over the next three years. This means that Intel will begin to bow out of this market slowly with an expected exit sometime around 2016. Intel will continue to work with third party manufacturers in the design and build of their boards including the development of reference boards for new form factors (like the one used for the Next Unit of Computing).  The question is; what will this mean to both Intel and the rest of the desktop market? In truth it means very little to the majority of the market, but it is significant in many ways.

For Intel this means they can drop a segment of their business that was not exactly a major source of revenue. They can consolidate and put their resources to work on other items of more importance like developing new form factors (let’s face it ATX is getting old). Intel is not downsizing and the current motherboard team is not being let go; this is a clear sign that Intel is reorganizing for efficiency and not due to income. They will continue to make CPUs and Chipsets, but they simply will not longer sell their own branded motherboards.

For the consumer there is very little impact, especially considering that most consumers buy from Asus, Gigabyte, MSI, Foxconn etc. There is not an especially big market for Intel branded motherboards so the consumer will not notice the impact. For the third party manufacturers there will be a gap to fill. As it stands right now the two companies that are best poised to fill this gap are Gigabyte and Asus. Both of them claim they will be picking up the lion’s share of this market which is to be expected.

Of course this announcement will certainly add fuel to the rumors that Intel will be pushing the BGA package instead of the desktop socket. However that is highly unlikely even after Intel makes its exit from the desktop motherboard market. One thing that we do wonder is who Intel will partner up with for their CPU launches. In the past they have supplied a motherboard and CPU as part of their reviewer’s kits. We would expect them to continue this tradition, but who will be the partner that gets the first run with the Intel CPUs? Our guess is either a leaning toward Gigabyte or that Intel will choose from the major manufacturers and then send out an equal number to the press; this is pretty much what AMD does now since they do not make their own boards any longer as well.

To sum things up, there will be little to no change to the consumer over the next three years and no drastic impact even to companies like Gigabyte and Asus. There simply is not a large enough market share available to make a difference one way or the other.

What do you think about Intel’s exit from the desktop market? Tell us in our Forum

Read 3639 times Last modified on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 21:18

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.