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Intel to stop motherboard production

Intel is stepping out of the motherboard market. According to AnandTech, the chip giant has announced that it will no longer produce and sell its desktop motherboards after the launch of Haswell in 2013. Intel boards, including the upcoming Haswell motherboards, will still carry a full warranty and will be supported by the company during that period.

Those currently working in Intel's desktop motherboard division will be moved to other groups within Intel that can use their talents. The company will still produce its own form factor reference designs for Ultrabooks and tablets, which is where many of the people from the motherboard division are likely to end up.

Intel is stepping out of the motherboard market (image credit: GettyImages)
Intel is stepping out of the motherboard market (image credit: GettyImages)

Back in December, we had learned that Intel's next-generation desktop and mobile platform—dubbed Haswell—will not debut before June 2013. The delay has not been attributed to any particular reason, but the new timing lines up with the 2013 edition of Computex. Intel could be planning a large launch at the event, during which it would be able to showcase its manufacturing partners' designs.

Intel already announced it would break from the annual refresh cycle it had established since the first-generation Core architecture was announced – by shipping Haswell in March-April instead of January 2013. Previous generations have been launched at CES, the world’s most important consumer electronics show, held in Las Vegas each year.

Haswell is a whole new architecture that will be manufactured on the 22-nanometer process with 3D "tri-gate” transistors that has been proven with the current generation Ivy Bridge series, which itself is a shrink of the earlier Sandy Bridge architecture. Desktop Haswell CPUs will require new motherboards with an LGA1150 socket instead of the current LGA1155. There will be at least ten new desktop models and seven new mobile models including low-voltage models.

The Haswell processor line-up was recently leaked. It was revealed that the 22nm desktop processors would initially be 14 CPUs spanning the Core i5 and Core i7 brands. The processors will be using a new CPU socket, the LGA1150, on Lynx Point chipset motherboards. They are also split into six standard power SKUs and eight low power SKUs.

The most powerful CPU in the line-up seems to be the Intel Core i7-4770K. It will have a base clock speed of 3.50GHz across four cores and eight threads. It will also have a 3.9GHz boost speed, along with an 8MB cache. The on-board graphics processor will be Intel HD 4600, which has a maximum dynamic frequency of 1250MHz.

All of the Core i7 processors in the line-up will have four cores and eight threads, with 8MB of cache. The Core i5 processors seem to have four cores and four threads, with a 6MB cache.

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