Small-form-factor NUC systems powered by Intel's upcoming Broadwell processor are reportedly on tap for the end of this year. The news comes from Fanlesstech, which has posted a couple of leaked roadmaps outlining Intel's plans for its mini PCs.
According to those slides, the consumer-focused Broadwell NUC falls under the Rock Canyon codename. It will reportedly be available with Core i3 and i5 processor options, M.2 and 2.5" SATA storage bays, and support for both 4K and triple-display output via a collection of Mini DisplayPort and Mini HDMI video outs. USB 3.0, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth are included, of course, and the system will apparently have optional lids with wireless charging and NFC support.
Wireless charging doesn't appear to be on the menu for the business-focused Maple Canyon variant. That model adds vPro management functions and a TPM module for trusted computing applications. It also promises "comprehensive I/O," including dual Mini DisplayPort outs, wired Ethernet, and USB 3.0. Neither Wi-Fi nor Bluetooth are mentioned by the slide, but the system probably has an open Mini PCIe slot, and an NFC lid is reportedly optional. Maple Canyon is designed for applications like digital signage, so it's not really meant for consumers.
The roadmaps both schedule Broadwell-based NUCs for the fourth quarter of this year. The latest rumors suggest that Broadwell has been delayed until that time frame. These mini PCs should use chips destined for ultrabooks, which will reportedly be among the first Broadwell variants to come out in Q4.
The slides mention one other addition to the NUC lineup: a fanless configuration based on Intel's Bay Trail SoC, which is supposedly coming soon. Unlike Intel's current Bay Trail NUC, which is equipped with a dual-core Celeron, the fanless Thin Canyon system has a single-core Atom E3815. The chip is clocked at only 1.46GHz, but there's 4GB of eMMC storage onboard and room to add a 2.5" SATA drive. Industrial applications are the target model for this puppy, which has an embedded DisplayPort connector and an old-school VGA output.
Fanlesstech says the NUC has gone from being a side project to taking center stage, so we could see more Broadwell-based versions next year. I wouldn't be surprised if Intel rolled out a version with more powerful integrated graphics, just like Gigabyte did with its Iris-equipped Brix Pro.
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