On Friday Intel Announced and then clarified that while they will continue to manufacture their existing and next generation of motherboards they will not produce new boards past 2014. Intel is focusing on “NEXT UNIT OF COMPUTING” aka NUC which are small form factor systems you can read about HERE. NUC machines are like mini-iTX sized single board computers running the latest intel CPU’s.
As you might expect, this announcement caused quite a stir in the hardware industry but I think it is much ado about nothing.
I speculate that the move out of large motherboards allows them to avoid building costly new manufacturing sites to produce NUCs. At first this came a big surprise but if you look at NUC machines (see image to the right) you will see that they are just smaller versions of bigger PC’s.
Today Intel does not OEM (sell parts to other manufactures) NUC’s but by 2015, who knows? So it is not really that Intel is leaving the motherboard business, as they announced (see below); it is that they are only going to produce tiny boards, which by 2015 is all anyone will be buying… duh!
Dear Intel® Technology Provider Partner,
If you build systems or devices based on Intel motherboards, we want to provide some additional information about Intel’s recent announcement about the future direction of our motherboard business. Intel has decided to transition out of manufacturing motherboards for Desktop computers over the next few years. We want to clarify what this means in both the short and long term, but also to put these decisions in a broader context so that you have a better understanding of our decision, and understand some of the opportunities we see for our channel partners as a result.
For our 2013 business:
We will continue to manufacture and stock our current desktop motherboard offerings. Our intention is to conduct business as usual, and you should not be impacted in your ability to purchase and sell Intel desktop motherboards.
We will manufacture Intel motherboards to drive the launch and ramp of the 4th Generation Intel® Core Processor (Haswell) through the product lifecycle.
Our warranty commitments continue for any board we have sold and will sell. We are committed to quality and customer service, as stated in our Warranty Terms and Conditions.