Published in Motherboards
Intel going for more solder-on CPUs
Computex 09: Will increase costs for motherboard makers
It seems like Intel's success with the Atom will have some unexpected long term effects on the entry level motherboard market, as we're hearing that the company is now considering moving its entire entry-level CPU range away from using CPU sockets to being soldered onto the motherboards.
We'd expect this to start from next year and it's likely to affect most Celeron CPUs. This might seem like a clever business model for Intel, as they don't need to ship the CPUs to as many different locations around the world, but there are bigger issues. For one it means that the motherboard manufacturers are liable directly to their customers if a CPU isn't working on a motherboard and there's a likelihood of more RMA's.
However, this isn't the biggest issue, as the real problem is the increase in stock costs, as the motherboard manufacturers will have to pay Intel for the CPUs and then try to make the money back in the channel. This is going to be a killer for the smaller motherboard makers which are likely to be very selective with regards to which low-end products they'll produce in the future.
On top of this, if a shipment of CPUs gets stolen, the motherboard manufacturers are the ones that have to foot the bill and not Intel and considering that there have been some fairly large CPU thefts in the past, this isn't an impossible scenario.