|Feb 11, 2013, 03:59 AM||#1|
Intel Planning On Leaving Desktop Motherboard Business
Apologies if there is a already a thread on this subject, I had a look around but wasn't able to find anything.
"As soon as its next-gen Haswell CPUs ship, Intel will start to leave the desktop motherboard business. It will be a lengthy process, taking at least three years, and the company will continue to produce chipsets. The company will be focusing instead on smaller and newer form factors. For one, it will be working on its Next Unit of Computing (NUC) boards, which are 4" by 4". Legacy support for old motherboards and the new Haswell motherboards will continue through their respective warranty periods. 'Given the competitive landscape, it's not a big surprise that Intel is refocusing its efforts on areas that have greater potential impact on future growth. All segments of the PC business are under extreme pressure, with sales slipping and users gravitating toward tablets and smart phones. Focusing on reference designs for all-in-one PCs, Ultrabooks and tablets will enable Intel's partners to more rapidly ship products that appeal to the new generation of mobile users.' AnandTech points out that one of the reasons Intel put out motherboards for so long was to assure a baseline level of quality for its CPUs. Now that the boards coming out of Taiwan are of good quality, Intel doesn't need to expend the effort.
Any thoughts on how this will affect Apple and the Mac Pro? Assuming that Apple does resume work on powerhouse computers, how feasible it for Apple look at other motherboard makers?
|Feb 11, 2013, 06:52 AM||#2|
MP's Motherboards are built by Foxconn to Apple Spec. the only thing intel in the are the processors.
|Feb 11, 2013, 07:19 AM||#5|
|Feb 11, 2013, 07:20 AM||#6|
Although these hand held devices are the current fad, I believe that and hope the desk top stays. I do not have prissy little hands and fingers an like a full size key board. Also like the display standing on its own for viewing without pinky scrolling to read, as for the machines size the Mini works well and see the need for machines the size of the Mac pro.
Not everybody wants a watch that is a computer, phone and play toy. If the industry thinks this is what we ultimately desire they could not me more wrong.
Not a luddite by any stretch, but the thought of only being able to buy some gadget the size of my palm is not what I would wish for. Have also noticed with humor the new accessories that hold the iclipboard up for viewing and freedom of the other hand, say sounds like a display donut.
The hype and fad driven cool look @ me market is all good here, keeps the $$$ rolling in. Just hope that very market will not attempt to force me and others to down size so to speak. Should that come true guess I will stick with what I have just my $0.02.
Last edited by 1934hotrod; Feb 11, 2013 at 07:30 AM.
|Feb 11, 2013, 07:44 AM||#7|
Mid 2011 Base Mac Mini running Mavericks w/ 8GB of RAM, 2 TB Seagate Expansion USB HD, 46" Samsung Display, Logitech K750/K360 Wireless Keyboards w/ Anywhere MX Mouse, Airport Express
|Feb 11, 2013, 11:40 AM||#9|
I'm sure that will spawn arguments about how those are not 'real' desktops, but:
1. intended to sit on static flat surface ( i.e., desktop). Check.
2. modular Display needed. Check (for the AIO are evil crowd ).
There is not much here to not fall into the desktop classification.
Is this a tinker with my trusty screwdriver box? No. However, that isn't "desktop".
Besides on a more related Mac Pro point. Intel can keep doing boards and references design for its growing and more profitable server line business. Super large customers like Google don't even buy motherboards from the Taiwan/Chinese chop shops any more. At least not "off the shelf" designs.
Finally, Intel will likely still be doing reference boards, even for the standard "box with slots" models for at least another iteration or two afterwards.
As the Intel CPU package designs get to the point that the voltage regluation is inside the package. The IOHUB functionality is also inside the package. The SATA controller is inside the package. USB .. inside the package. HD Audio .. inside the package. Wifi-Bluetooth ... inside the package. ... a decent mid-range GPU is inside the package.
What exactly is going to be left for the motherboard vendors to do variance around ?
Motherboard vendors used to do their own North/Southbridge chipsets. Those got sucked into the Intel/AMD blackhole.
Then there was stuff that wouldn't fit in a Southbridge ( very fast SATA, very fast FW , higher quality I/O, gigabit Ethernet , etc.). Again most of this is being sucked into either the AMD/Intel southbridge or into the CPU package itself. There is even fancier Ethernet and Audio but the freight train is coming every time Intel does a process shrink and now has more "extra" transistors to throw at the problem.
Since the 70's computers in general have been moving toward having fewer and fewer discrete components in them. Transistors to intergrated circuits and now to super massive integrated circuits. Going the other direction is swimming upstream against Moorse Law and double digits billions in R&D.
There is a debate as to whether Apple does it with primarily contractors ( Apple just givesthem a bill-of-materials and some layout parameters: daughter card socket ... slot placement... board dimensions. ) or the design is done by Apple internally but it is already there. Doubtful that would be different one way or the other into the future.
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