Intel to wind down desktop circuit-board business
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.
"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.