Are you one of the countless power users wondering why Intel is putting so much effort into integrated graphics over the last few years? Especially after decades of complacency? The answer is actually much more complicated than it appears. Intel doesn’t just want to kill off AMD and Nvidia. They want to be the one and only vendor PC makers ever need to purchase components from while building your next machine.
DigiTimes points out what now seems almost completely obvious to industry observers; Intel wants to integrate everything motherboard vendors were once doing short of physical connectors onto the CPU. The push to consolidate North and South Bridge chips directly onto the CPU die are forging ahead with next year’s release of Haswell, and will only accelerate as we go forward.
This trend has left DigiTimes to speculate on the shaky future of some smaller motherboard manufacturers going forward. Asus, Gigabyte, and ASRock make up the top three, and will likely all find a niche for the next few generations, but then what? If the desktop continues to lose traction to mobile devices going forward, we could well see even the established players begin to struggle. If motherboards become little more than a socket with a few extra USB and thunderbolt chips it could become increasingly difficult to sell premium products, even to power users.
Could Intel conceivably kill off the motherboard market within the next 3-5 years? It’s starting to look at least somewhat possible.