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Intel's Next Unit of Computing Rivals Raspberry Pi in Size

By - Source: ExtremeTech | B 57 comments

Set for release later this year, this little computer measures just 4x4 inches.

Over the last few months, the Raspberry Pi Foundation has generated quite a few headlines thanks to its diminutive single-board computer Raspberry Pi. However, it looks like Intel is keen to grab some of the attention for its own tiny offering. This week, Intel is showing off something it likes to call 'NUC' or Next Unit Computing.

The platform measures just 4x4 inches, which is not quite as small as Raspberry Pi, but still noticeably smaller than a 6.7- x 6.7-inch mini-ITX system and similar in size to the Pico-ITX from VIA. It boasts an Intel Core family processor socket (Core i3/i5), two RAM SO-DIMM slots, two mini PCIe slots, support for HDMI, USB 3.0, Thunderbolt, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. The platform is intended for use in signs and kiosks but we're betting it'll show up elsewhere, too.

Of course, the biggest attraction with Raspberry Pi is its $35 price tag, and though Intel hasn't mentioned much about pricing for the NUC, we're going to go out on a limb and assume it won't be as cheap and cheerful as Raspberry Pi. Then again, as ExtremeTech points out, the NUC has Raspberry Pi beat when it comes to processing power, even if it is more expensive and slightly chunkier, and it can also run Windows 7.

ET cites Fred Birang, senior product marketing engineer at Intel, as saying NUC is set for release in the second half of this year so well keep you posted on this one and update when we know more.

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Image via ExtremeTech

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  • 24 Hide
    rebel1280 , May 1, 2012 6:11 PM
    ojasIntel's poking its nose everywhere...

    Good, I wish AMD did too. Why not? Why is it a bad thing? Competition is good and quite frankly, with intels R&D its going to be downright awesome.
  • 10 Hide
    Cazalan , May 1, 2012 6:38 PM
    They would have to use the Atom to get close to the $35 price tag.
Other Comments
  • 9 Hide
    nieur , May 1, 2012 6:03 PM
    if all the above mentioned stuff comes around $100-150 I am going to grab one
  • 24 Hide
    rebel1280 , May 1, 2012 6:11 PM
    ojasIntel's poking its nose everywhere...

    Good, I wish AMD did too. Why not? Why is it a bad thing? Competition is good and quite frankly, with intels R&D its going to be downright awesome.
  • -2 Hide
    ojas , May 1, 2012 6:25 PM
    rebel1280Good, I wish AMD did too. Why not? Why is it a bad thing? Competition is good and quite frankly, with intels R&D its going to be downright awesome.

    Nah not a bad thing, really, just a bit funny, in a good and slightly scary way. Don't get me wrong, i like Intel a lot, but i just get this image of this huge thing gobbling up everything :D 

    And heck, i think an i5 on this thing will be be great for AES256 encryption on a NAS device.
  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , May 1, 2012 6:27 PM
    The most interesting things about rasberry pi are its size and its price. This thing is way too large to compete in the same area.
  • 10 Hide
    Cazalan , May 1, 2012 6:38 PM
    They would have to use the Atom to get close to the $35 price tag.
  • 0 Hide
    Parsian , May 1, 2012 6:46 PM
    sweet i can now use this for my laptop hardware upgrade project :) 
  • -1 Hide
    blazorthon , May 1, 2012 6:48 PM
    Why doesn't Intel make a Medfield device to compete with the Raspberry Pi? If Intel does it right, the could have a huge win in performance against the Pi without having a larger size than the Pi and price it accordingly. It could even still run Windows and other x86 operating systems. Now I'm not really interested in buying anything like this be it the Pi or something similar to the PI, but it would be interesting to read about.
  • -2 Hide
    glenricky , May 1, 2012 7:20 PM
    Intel Ivy Bridge killing All AMD
    Intel HD4000 killing lower-end discrete graphic from Nvidia and AMD
    Intel Medfield killing ARM
    Intel NUC killing Raspberry Pi

    What else?
    Maybe SSD and Motherboard soon

    Intel Everywhere
  • 7 Hide
    rahulkadukar , May 1, 2012 7:27 PM
    Quote:
    Intel Ivy Bridge killing All AMD
    Intel HD4000 killing lower-end discrete graphic from Nvidia and AMD
    Intel Medfield killing ARM
    Intel NUC killing Raspberry Pi

    What else?
    Maybe SSD and Motherboard soon

    Intel Everywhere


    You can tick off SSD

    Intel® Solid-State Drive 910 Series
    Intel® Solid-State Drive 710 Series
    Intel® Solid-State Drive 520 Series
    Intel® Solid-State Drive 510 Series
    Intel® Solid-State Drive 330 Series
    Intel® Solid-State Drive 320 Series
    Intel® Solid-State Drive 313 Series
    Intel® Solid-State Drive 311 Series
    Intel® Solid-State Drive 310 Series
  • 6 Hide
    memadmax , May 1, 2012 7:36 PM
    all you amd fanboys say that the downfall of amd will cause intel to "not innovate anymore" and cause prices to skyrocket....

    Well, that may be true in the industrial segment of the economy, but in the tech world, it's a whole different ballgame. You must continue to innovate, improve, get faster, or die....

    And AMD has only taken a temporary stumble block on that, so quit acting as if AMD is gonna die and the world is gonna end.........
  • -2 Hide
    blazorthon , May 1, 2012 7:38 PM
    glenrickyIntel Ivy Bridge killing All AMDIntel HD4000 killing lower-end discrete graphic from Nvidia and AMDIntel Medfield killing ARMIntel NUC killing Raspberry PiWhat else?Maybe SSD and Motherboard soonIntel Everywhere


    ... Intel's HD 4000 is, at best, on par with AMD's A6 graphics. Considering that the HD graphics (unlike AMD/Nvidia) varies (even within the same name) depending on the processor (generally, the i3 HD 4000 will be beaten by i5 HD 4000 and that is beaten by i7 HD 4000, the differing factor being the clock frequency of the HD graphics) and it's just the top i7 HD 4000 that comes close to the A6's 6530D and AMD will come out with Trinity that is far ahead of that and both AMD and Nvidia will make low end graphics cards that surpass it, Intel's HD 4000 will not hurt low end graphics cards at all. $40 cards are still far faster than the HD 4000 in it's best incarnation in the i7s.

    Intel isn't *killing* AMD. AMD is making a come back with Piledriver and hopefully again with Steamroller (those together could bring AMD up to at least Sandy and Ivy performance and performance per watt). AMD is also winning against Intel in the low/mid end notebook PC enthusiast market.

    Medfield is not *killing* ARM; Medfield's simply a competitor for ARM. It will take quite a lot to convince companies like Apple to port their software and iOS over to a new architecture any time soon.

    Intel's NUC is not even a competitor for the Raspberry Pi. The NUC is a far more high end product and is also larger.

    Intel already makes both SSDs and motherboards. Intel isn't the best in either, but Intel's SSDs have been heralded as the most reliable SSDs, even if they aren't even close to being the fastest.
  • 0 Hide
    iLLz , May 1, 2012 7:43 PM
    This could be interesting. I wonder what socket it will take? They say Core i3/i5 so probably a LGA1155 which means these could be real performers, given their size. A sub-$150 mini PC is definitely intriguing.
  • -1 Hide
    blazorthon , May 1, 2012 8:18 PM
    iLLzThis could be interesting. I wonder what socket it will take? They say Core i3/i5 so probably a LGA1155 which means these could be real performers, given their size. A sub-$150 mini PC is definitely intriguing.


    It could be mobile i3/i5 and probably is if it uses SO-DIMMs, so it probably won't have an LGA 1155 socket. If it were desktop i3/i5 compatible, then the CPU cooler could have needed to be as wide (and almost as tall as it is wide) as the whole board!
  • -2 Hide
    phatboe , May 1, 2012 8:25 PM
    nieurif all the above mentioned stuff comes around $100-150 I am going to grab one

    Seeing as it is made by Intel and it has a Core Ix processor (not Atom) I'm willing to bet it will be a few hundred dollars more than that.
  • -3 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , May 1, 2012 8:47 PM
    blazorthonWhy doesn't Intel make a Medfield device to compete with the Raspberry Pi?


    Because Pi is very narrow niche market. It's too slow to do anything useful and is mostly sought after by Linux enthusiasts who want to run some custom-built low-resource distro on it. It can't do anything else.

    phatboeSeeing as it is made by Intel and it has a Core Ix processor (not Atom) I'm willing to bet it will be a few hundred dollars more than that.


    A SOCKET. So I bet you can throw in anything from a SB Pentium to an i7, if the BIOS allows. (Then again... where the hell do you install a cooler here? :heink:  The whole thing is gonna melt if you give it an x86 CPU without a cooler...)
  • -3 Hide
    Darkerson , May 1, 2012 8:53 PM
    While Im interested in this, it does come off as a knee-jerk reaction the to Raspberry Pi, even if it isnt directly aimed to compete against it. At the very least, it had a heavy influence over the design in general.
  • -4 Hide
    blazorthon , May 1, 2012 8:55 PM
    Quote:
    Because Pi is very narrow niche market. It's too slow to do anything useful and is mostly sought after by Linux enthusiasts who want to run some custom-built low-resource distro on it. It can't do anything else.



    A SOCKET. So I bet you can throw in anything from a SB Pentium to an i7, if the BIOS allows. (Then again... where the hell do you install a cooler here? :heink:  The whole thing is gonna melt if you give it an x86 CPU without a cooler...)


    What about Sandy Bridge Celerons? You skipped them. Again, if this is supposed to have i3s and i5s, it is almost certainly the mobile versions, so the cooler might not be as big of a deal. It could certainly get away with a much smaller cooler that way.
  • -3 Hide
    beoza , May 1, 2012 9:02 PM
    I can see this being used in higher end internet kiosks, such as those that play games like Monster mash. Those terminals that are around some restaurants, and truck stops. This would allow both games and internet access, the games could be of a higher end unlike the typical flash based stuff the now run. Those kiosks do run a version of Linux so this could be of good use in those types of places. I can see the Raspberry Pi being used more in internet enabled TV's since its smaller and cheaper than Intels solution. Both have their uses, it will take companies other than Intel and those behind the Pi to figure out new and novel uses for these devices, as well as us technophiles.
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