IDF, San Francisco – Recognising the importance of its channel, Intel yesterday launched a slew of new motherboard solutions it says are geared towards giving its partners addional growth opportunities in the desktop, netbook/nettop and notebook sectors.

Tom Rampone, vice-president of Intel's Sales and Marketing Group and GM of the Channel Platforms Group, says that over the past few decades the distribution channel has accounted for about a quarter of all Intel's CPU shipments and that even today, the channel is responsible for between 20% and 30% of its annual CPU sales.
"The channel is a very significant part of Intel's business," Rampone says. "We have about 220 000 resellers and system integrators around the world – an even split of about 50 000 in each of the US, Latin American and European markets, and tens of thousands spread throughout the rest of the world. It's a substantial organisation and a group of customers that are very important to us."
Announcing the new products, Rampone says they are designed to tap the growth opportunities in local PC markets.
"The PC continues to be a technology driver" Rampone says. "It's also where consumers have been exposed to the benefits of computing and using the Internet for communications, convenience and entertainment. Today, we are seeing how the PC is the foundation of making techn ology relevant to people's daily lives.
"Being faster in bringing technology to local markets, stretching further to reach new users, and offering compelling, differentiated products – this is how Intel and our local industry partners can make technolgoy relevant and spur local PC consumption."
In the desktop arena, there are four new motherboards tailored for the needs of multimedia and mainstream users – the DG45ID Media Series, the DG45FC Media Series, the DG43NB Classic Series, and the DP43TF Classic Series.
These new motherboards, Rampone says, will deliver the choice to provide the ideal toolkit for OEMs and the broader channel to build differentiated platforms that can be customised to the needs of their users.
They will also include Intel's new Remote Wake Technology, a feature which allows anytime access over the Internet to home PCs – even if they are in sleep-mode.
Looking at opportunities in the sub-$500 device space, Rampone proudly displayed the latest Classmate featuring new tablet, touch-screen and motion-sensing capabilities. He wouldn't, however, be drawn on the price of the new netbook which became commercially available in March this year and which is targeted specifically at emerging markets, education, and basic users in more mature markets.
Rampone also unveiled Intel's second Atom-based motherboard – the D945GCLF2 Essential Series – which, he says, will give partners the edge when it comes to price/performance value propositions.
With local Intel executives predicting that the crossover from desktops to notebooks in the South African market could happen within the next two quarters, the shift towards mobility is clear. Rampone says that there is growing demand for customisable mobile solutions and that is the reason for the introduction of the Mobile Board MGM5WU for business users, and the Mobile Board MGM45RM for consumers.
"Based on Centrino 2, these boards expand our ongoing efforts to develop interchangeable building blocks for notebooks," Rampone says. "And they will allow the channel to lead technology transitions and differentiate their product offerings using these common building blocks."