Intel to wind down desktop circuit board business
The chipmaker says it will leave the traditional desktop PC circuit board business. As a result, the venerable tower PC will likely begin to fade.
Intel will get out of the traditional desktop motherboard business, as it focuses its resources on mobile products.
"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 the Best Buys of 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 twenty 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, due to launch in the summer. "Intel will stop developing new Desktop boards once 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-yourselfers, 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 rumors 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 rumors.