Intel To Launch Haswell Processors On June 2 & Exit Desktop Motherboard Market

By Alexandra Burlacu email: a.burlacu@mobilenapps.com | Jan 24, 2013 12:02 PM EST

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Intel is reportedly planning to host a conference in June ahead of Computex, where it will announce its next-generation Haswell series of processors.

Haswell is the successor to Intel's Ivy Bridge architecture. The new line of processors will become available starting June 2, and vendors are expected to boast their Haswell-based products at Computex, which takes place from June 4 to June 8. Based on internal company forecasts, Haswell processors should account for 14 to 16 percent of Intel's total processor shipments during the third quarter.

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According to a DigiTimes report citing "sources from PC players," Intel will announce its upcoming Haswell processors "jointly with downstream partners" prior to Computex 2013.

Intel's Ivy Bridge architecture currently powers Intel Core 3XXX processors, while Haswell will make up all Core 4XXX processors except for the high-end Ivy Bridge i7 Extreme. Much of the PC market is buzzing in anticipation of the new Haswell line of processors, which will feature a new micro-architecture that allows new chips to be introduced, such as the low-power Haswell Y series.

Consumer demand for Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 8, is expected to gain momentum once the OS has been on the market for eight months. With the launch of Intel's new CPU platform, DigiTimes' sources expect the PC market to start picking up steam in the third quarter.

Meanwhile, Intel will also gradually exit the desktop motherboard market with a scheduled ramp down over the next three years. This move means the company will slowly bow out of this business with an expected departure sometimes in 2016. Intel spokesman Dan Snyder told PCWorld, Intel will exit the market after roughly two decades of selling branded desktop motherboards.

Intel will reportedly continue to work with third-party manufacturers to design and build its motherboards, including developing reference boards for new form factors such as the one found in the Next Unit of Computing. It remains to be seen, however, what impact this move will have on Intel and the rest of the desktop market. It may seem insignificant to the majority of the market, but in many ways it will herald a new era.

For Intel, exiting the desktop motherboard market will mean dropping a segment of its business that didn't bring much revenue anyway. The company could consolidate and focus its resources on other more important items such as developing new form factors. It's important to note that Intel is not downsizing and it will not lay off the current motherboard team. Instead, the company is reorganizing to maximize its efficiency. It will continue making CPUs and chipsets, but it will no longer sell its own-brand motherboards.

For consumers, Intel's move will have very little impact, if any. Most consumers buy their motherboards from ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, Foxconn, and the likes, so they will likely not feel any impact as Intel exits the market. Third-party manufacturers, on the other hand, will have a gap to fill, but Gigabyte and ASUS will likely pick up Intel's share of the market in no time.

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