Intel preps low-cost miniature computer for launch: Photos

Intel preps low-cost miniature computer for launch: Photos

Summary: The Next Unit of Computing (NUC) boards see Intel target consumers and retailers with a low-cost PC that still packs an Ivy Bridge punch.

TOPICS: Emerging Tech, Intel, PCs

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  • Intel is set to release a small yet capable computer for retail stores, digital signage and consumers who want an unobtrusive media player, as the chip giant tries to develop new products for burgeoning 'PC-plus' devices.

    The Next Unit of Computing (NUC) devices (pictured), are small computers with Intel's Ivy Bridge Core i3 processor. They are designed to appeal to consumers who want a computer for simple tasks like media playing or web browsing in a small form factor, and digital signage and shops that want to output video.

    "We think smaller PCs are part of the future," Mark Jose, a technical marketing engineer for Intel, told ZDNet on Thursday. "I think if you look at the desktop market now, everyone wants to go smaller... people are starting to move away from the boxes and go all-in-one."

    Image: Jack Clark

  • Initially the NUC devices come in two variants. One has two HDMI ports and is designed for signage and retail (pictured, bottom right), while the other has one HDMI port along with a Thunderbolt port and is meant for the consumer. 

    Both units will be available either as boards or within chassis from October exclusively through Intel channel partners, Jose said.

    In the future, Intel expects to use other processors in the platforms. It plans to launch a NUC model with a Celeron chip by the end of 2012 and aims to drop in its upcoming Haswell chips when they arrive in mid-2013, Jose said. Intel hopes to be able to fit an as-yet-undisclosed Haswell variant with a TDP of 8W into the boards in the future. 

    Image: Jack Clark

Topics: Emerging Tech, Intel, PCs

Jack Clark

About Jack Clark

Currently a reporter for ZDNet UK, I previously worked as a technology researcher and reporter for a London-based news agency.

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  • Boy

    Intel is going hard after Apple, they must have really ticked them off!

    They can make this all they want but it will never be a Mac Mini as it likely will not have OS X (short of a hackintosh) and OS X is the best reason to own a Mini in my opinion (Really like that OS).
    • Mac Mini?

      Check facts before you post.

      You know. Go find CPU that power Mac Mini.....
  • Actually, this is a response to the Raspberry Pi...

    Small form factor PC's have been around for a while now {Remember Shuttle PC}. You will not see many of these as the profits aren't there in volume for Intel or AMD either.
    • Exactly what I though.

      After the phenomenal success of the Rasp Pi, Intel have seen that there is a market for such things and wants to get in on it before it matures. This market is going to hit PC sales hard because now people can get PC functionality, and thus something they can understand, for devices that they don't want to be buying a complete laptop/desktop for but don't want to be paying for or restricted by embedded one use consumer items ... i.e. server, media centre, security ... heck just look at the list of Rasp Pi projects and you get the idea.
  • Intel is going "Windows Only"

    Time to look for alternatives.
    • you're being obtuse

      If you're referring to the Clover Trail platform, the word is that it has a locked bootloader (like Apple's iDevices all do), so it isn't even a matter of the processor, but the fact that Intel won't support other OSes or publish specifications. 6 months after it's released, though, someone will have Linux running on it.

      So, it isn't that alternative OSes won't run, they just won't be supported. The real secret appears to be the power-management features. So other OSes will run, but the battery life won't be as good. And will likely only be done by the hardcore nerds that will do it only because Intel said they can't, effectively. Intel building a processor to spec for a customer is nothing new. Same as Apple lightly modifies Samsung's Exynos designs and calls them something different (A5, A5x, A6, etc), Intel is producing a processor specifically for Windows mobile hardware. It isn't as if you're going to accidentally buy one on Newegg only to discover you can't build the Linux PC of your dreams, and it's not as if MS can design and release their own x86 processor (as they don't have a license to produce them. Only Intel, AMD, and Via hold x86 licenses.)

      It was announced just a couple days ago that there are Intel execs running Medfield phones on Android, for which the port was completed just recently.

      Note that this applies specifically to the Clover Trail platform. If you think Intel is stupid enough to go Windows-only on a wide scale, you have no business commenting on a tech site. The majority of the planet is powered by Intel running Linux (think servers.) HPC still skews toward Intel running Linux.
  • Too expensive.

    The complete unit must sell for under $100 in order to beat out the competition.

    Broadcom and Realtek have the media player market wrapped up very nicely with their SOCs, which is why you can get a top-of-the-line Roku for around $100. Why would someone pay more for an Intel product?

    Cut the price by 75%, and they'll be on track.