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10cm by 10cm motherboard with Ivy Bridge processors prompts Raspberry PI comparisons.

Intel’s new ‘NUC’ tiny form factor PC

Intel is set to launch a new ultra-compact form factor computer dubbed the Next Unit of Computing (NUC), prompting comparisons with the diminutive Raspberry Pi.

While small, the 4-inch square unit is hardly as small as the tiny RP – nor is it particularly equivalent since the board bristles with connectors for mini PCI, RAM, Thunderbolt, HDMI, and USB 3.0 ports and with a rear-side pre-soldered full Core i3 or i5 processor.

Intel is targeting the platform as kiosk use, digital signage, smart TVs, ‘very small’ PCs and the like.

Intel’s Fred Birang spoke to Just Press Start in a podcast from the Pax East 2012 show and suggested that NUC platform will arrive in the "second half of the year." He wouldn’t be drawn on pricing but said it would not be in the "hundreds to thousands" which suggests US$100-something.

Not RP sort of money to be sure but given that the design can run a fully fledged Windows OS with acceptable 3D gaming performance, it’s pretty exciting nevertheless.

Birang discussed Sandy Bridge with the NUC but the Intel later confirmed to ExtremeTech that the NUC will be based on Ivy Bridge processors.

That means the NUC will offer the Dirext-X 11 capable Intel HD 4000 GPU. No demon games machine to be sure but perfectly acceptable for most PC games, all in something just 10cm by 10cm.

It could use a better name though.

Image source: Extremetech.

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