Intel confirms winding down of desktop motherboard business

News 23 Jan, 2013

Firm wants to focus on NUC and tablets as the desktop era draws to a close.

Intel will wind down its desktop motherboard operations, as it acknowledges the era of traditional desktops is nearing its end.

The world's largest chipmaker plans to exit the business in three years, as revealed by AnandTech.

Intel confirmed it will stop producing desktop motherboards after it launches its Haswell chipsets later this year.

However, Intel confirmed to IT Pro that it will continue to provide support for the hardware and honour any warranties.

It also added that production of x86 server and workstation chips will remain unaffected as they are part of a separate division.

When asked why it has chosen to exit the desktop motherboard business, Intel said it wants to focus on mobile computing, in particular its newly launched Next Level of Computing (NUC) range.

“The reason for the ramp down is to focus on critical, new areas in desktop computing. These include NUC and AIO, as well as other PC solutions such as Ultrabooks,” Intel told IT Pro.

Intel said it will not be laying off any staff as part of this initiative, as employees will be moved to the NUC, Ultrabook and tablet divisions.

The announcement is not completely unexpected as the firm’s desktop motherboard business has been a steady income generator, but margins have been low. As sales of PCs continue to decline due to the rise of smartphones and tablets, this could be the optimal time to refocus resources in growth areas.

The announcement comes after Intel announced a year-on-year drop in quarterly revenues. Intel posted Q4 revenues of $13.5 billion, down from $13.9 billion a year earlier.

Intel also announced that it would be increasing capital expenditure to $13 billion in 2013 – significantly higher than the $10 billion predicted by analysts.