A report coming out of Taiwan suggests that the continued integration of new features in microprocessors will cause some motherboard makers to pull out of the market.
Digitimes reports that features (such as power phase control) that will be moved into Intel's Haswell processor could prompt "several second-tier" motherboard makers to "exit the market in late 2013".
It is critical for motherboard makers that they are able to differentiate their products from rival products and an SoC strategy that collects more features into the CPU will take away choices from the motherboard industry. The result could be competition that will only happen on a price level, which would make the market segment much less attractive than it is today or even several years ago. Digitimes wrote that motherboard makers have already shifted their focus and try to be unique in the implementation of USB, and Thunderbolt, as well as BIOS features.
However, there is also the note that Intel is unlikely to "destroy" the motherboard industry and may let the industry live for another three to five years. Still, that expectation is pinned on hopes such as declining yield rates caused by the integration of the northbridge and southbridge into the SoC.