Faster CPUs for next-gen Intel NUCs

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Santa Clara's Next Unit of Computing, or NUC, can best be described as an uber-mini x86 desktop PC powered by Intel's Core i3 processor.

Clearly, Intel has a lot more to offer in terms of chip power than just a plain old Core i3, yet the question remains: when will higher-end SoCs make their way into Intel's NUCs?

Soon, at least according to a "leaked" product roadmap obtained by Computer Base.DE, which claims the Core i5 iteration of the NUC is currently code-named "Horse Canyon," while the Core i7 model has been dubbed "Skull Canyon."

Both systems offers support for mSATA drives, up to 16GB of memory, and optional WiFI/Bluetooth.

As Liliputing's Brad Linder notes, Horse Canyon and Skull Canyon are equipped with 17W chips originally targeted at notebooks and ultrabooks.

Nevertheless, they do sip less power than typical desktop PCs, while generating significantly less heat, which is obviously important for small form factor units like Intel's NUC.

As TG Daily previously reported, Intel packs a Core i3-3217U processor inside its small 4.6 x 4.4 x 1.6-inch NUC chassis. The machine also boasts a pair of HDMI ports, a trio of USB ports, and an integrated ethernet jack.

The system supports 7.1 channel audio and even has a mini-PCI Express card slot and a second half sized mini PCIe slot - allowing users to add additional storage via an SSD. The system is equipped with dual memory slots, supporting up to 16 GB of RAM. The little computer ships with an external power supply (although sans cord) providing 65 W of power.