Sources at motherboard makers told DigiTimes that several second-tier motherboard makers may exit the market by the end of next year. Too blame is weakening demand for desktop PCs, as well as Intel's strategy of gradually integrating more functions into the processor. This gives motherboard makers less opportunities to differentiate their products.
Although Intel will adopt a system on chip (SoC) form factor for Haswell processors used in ultrabooks, the Haswell processors for the desktop segment will not adopt the same strategy until 2014; instead, Intel will gradually integrate more chipset functions into the processor and such a move could cause motherboard designs to become less differentiated.
Motherboard players have already turned their focuses to added functions such as USB and Thunderbolt interfaces as well as BIOS firmware features and new software applications to differentiate their products.