Intel's Next Unit of Computing models prepare for landingNovember 11th, 2012 by Nancy Owano in Technology / Hardware
(Phys.org)—Intel will introduce two NUC barebone computer models for the general public by next month. These are tiny barebone PCs that will be available through online retailers. One of the two models, the DC3217BY, has had a once-over review and there are reports that online retailers such as Amazon will be selling the tiny 4"×4"×2" computing devices starting at about $300 to $320. The little NUC is no way to be confused with a notebook or ultralight. What you get out of the box is an Ivy Bridge processor and motherboard and chassis, and, for the rest, you're on your own.
Not even a power cord is in the mix. Mini PCIe cards and power cords will be sold separately But going bare-boned is precisely Intel's point, to enable the DIY enthusiast to enjoy what its NUC name stands for, the Next Unit of Computing. The NUC works with a dual-core ULV Ivy bridge CPU and is supplied with the Core i3 3217 U microprocessor chip. Both NUC models will offer Windows 8 compatibility.
The DC3217BY model features Intel's Thunderbolt technology Thunderbolt is described by Intel as a dual protocol I/O innovation that increases transfer performance with bidirectional 10Gbps speed and offers daisy chaining to multiple devices. According to Intel, leveraging the I/O protocols on a single transport enables engineers to innovate new system design configurations.
The NUC will resonate with people who have a home theater/home media center. One usage scenario suggested by an Intel source would be to put it on the back of a wide-screen display. Intel said that overalI its lower power consumption will enable innovative system designs and energy-efficient applications in places such as digital signage, home entertainment, and portable uses.
The DC3217BY, one of the two models, has an Intel promotional blurb that pitches the use of the NUC to experience movies, photos, and games smoothly. "Dramatically increase data transfer rates and daisy-chain peripherals with Thunderbolt technology. Get a difference in performance you can truly see and feel."
The blurb for the DC3217IYE version describes it as offering "stunning visuals and performance." The user can drive two digital displays at once with dual HDMI in this model. Gigabit LAN delivers connectivity.
While NUC pricetags are anticipated to run $300 and up, predictions outside of Intel are that the NUC will be seen as a viable computing solution for specialized applications, where the need for the right form-factor outweighs the need to watch the budget.
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"Intel's Next Unit of Computing models prepare for landing." November 11th, 2012. http://phys.org/news/2012-11-intel.html