Intel to gradually ramp down its desktop motherboard business
Intel today announced its plans to gradually ramp down the production of desktop motherboards. It will continue supplying motherboards to third-party motherboard manufacturers like ASUS, ASRock and Gigabyte, but after 2013 it will no longer produce or sell its own desktop designs.
The workforce from this division though won’t be affected and will be moved to other departments. Intel still plans to continue producing barebones motherboards for its Next Unit Computing (NUC), a custom form factor motherboard that fits into an Intel-supplied chassis and will be powered by an i3 dual-core Ivy Bridge CPU.
Intel will also continue to produce reference designs like the Medfield design which Intel showed off at last year’s IDF. The Medfield design developed in partnership with Google is a reference design to a phone running an Android OS and optimized for Intel’s x86 architecture.
Intel’s decision doesn’t come as a big surprise since the desktop PC business isn’t exactly booming. Its focus going forward seems to be on integrated designs for desktops and reference designs for Ultrabooks and tablets.