Gadgets

Intel ends an era, starts killing off its own PC business

Intel has taken the first steps toward dissolving its PC motherboard production. If all goes according to plan, the entire division will be nonexistent by 2016.

The company told PC World today that it will cease desktop motherboard production shortly after its Haswell ultrabook motherboards start shipping and will continue to support legacy hardware. The Haswell launch itself has been bumped up a few months, ostensibly to “save” the PC as well as the company’s PC-based business.

Intel has struggled to keep pace with its competitors in the PC motherboard category. It has also had to shift much of its focus to tablet and mobile computing devices. Currently, Intel powers seven smartphone designs and is also shipping chips for x86-based tablet computers, worlds away from where its business was even one year ago.

While its most recent earnings statements showed that the PC segment hasn’t quite tanked — not yet, at least — Intel spent the majority of its time at CES focusing on its future of bargain-basement-priced ultrabooks, gestural controls, and touchscreens, touchscreens everywhere.

In addition to keeping up with new form factors, Intel said it will focus on all-in-one system designs and will continue to advise manufacturers on motherboard design. Its PC processor business is still going strong.