Intel is Leaving the Motherboard Business

Intel just announced that it will exit the consumer motherboard business after the next major CPU release, and all of its motherboard research, development and production will cease within three years.

Once Intel’s Haswell CPU line is released later this year, some number of Intel designed and manufactured motherboards will come with it. Those motherboards will be the last models to brandish the Intel logo, as the chipmaker winds down its operations from now through late 2015-early 2016.

While a bit of a shock, Intel spokesman Dan Snyder made some clarifying comments to Maximum PC “We disclosed internally today that Intel’s Desktop Motherboard Business will begin slowly ramping down over the course of the next three years. As Intel gradually ramps down its motherboard business we are ramping up critical areas of the desktop space including integration of innovative solutions for the PC ecosystem such as reference design development, NUC, and other areas to be discussed later.”

As most enthusiasts are already thinking: This is nowhere close to the end of the world for the enthusiast desktop segment. While Intel has been a name in motherboards for several decades, the company is not a driving force in motherboards by any means. Gigabyte and Asus make up over 70 percent of the consumer motherboard market, with many other companies like MSI, ASRock, eVGA, and Biostar making up the difference. Intel will continue to design and manufacture chipsets, so your favorite motherboard maker(s) will still offer boards with Intel tech baked in. However, this news combined with the whole BGA fervor from last year, however, means the desktop segment circa 2017 is going to look markedly different than it does today.

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