|In a sign of the changing PC landscape following the arrival of the Apple iPad, Intel has outlined plans to ramp down its production of desktop motherboards, reports Anandtech. The arrival of the next-generation Intel Haswell platform will be the last series where Intel will develop desktop motherboards to complement its own line of chips. It will retire its own designs, but will still develop desktop CPUs for third party vendors, including ASUS, ASRock and Gigabyte, who will continue to carry the torch.
With the market shifting to more compact form factor PC devices including ultrabooks, tablets and hybrids, Intel will instead focus its energy on developing reference designs for ultrabooks and tablets. It does not generate significant profit from its desktop motherboard line, and it clearly does not see a future where desktop will regain market share ceded to mobile devices.
All-in-one desktop PCs are also continuing to evolve into thinner designs with significantly reduced desktop footprints. The latest Apple iMac, which continues to be in woefully short supply, utilizes a much thinner design than the previous generations. This has resulted in Apple and other vendors increasingly using parts designed for mobile computers in their desktop designs. For example, the discrete graphics chip in the new 27-inch iMac adopts an Nvidia mobile GPU, rather than a larger and bulkier desktop-class GPU.