updated 11:13 am EDT, Mon June 11, 2012
Intel planning more versions of small Next Level of Computing PC
At the Computex trade show in Taipei, Taiwan, Intel once again showed off its Next Unit of Computing (NUC) small form-factor PC. It's just four by four inches in size and the latest information shared by TechReport suggests the device will cost $400 and ship sometime in the third quarter of the year. The PC was originally meant for digital signage but thanks to strong demand, it will be sold to a wider audience by system integrators and online reporters.
The systems will be available as complete units, barebones devices, or just as a mainboard. Enclosure makers may get the NUC as well.
The NUC is powered by a Core i3 CPU, though the example at Computex used USB 2.0 rather than the promised USB 3.0. There are dual HDMI outputs, however, and 4GB of RAM, along with a 40GB mSATA SSD. Wireless connections include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The mainboard has dual SO-DIMM and mini PCIe slots for upgrading.
The source also said the fourth quarter will see a version with a Core i7 chip, USB 3.0, and Thunderbolt. Versions of 17W Core i5 and Core i7 chips are said to be in the works for the platform, and a lower-priced Celeron-based model may be coming too.
The NUC is still in the prototype stage, and Intel admits it needs to refine the case to optimize cooling. The Ivy Bridge Core i5 reached 79 degrees Celsius when performing Cinebench tests, though it stayed at 2.7GHz in Turbo mode.