Two purported Intel roadmaps spotted via @momomo_us (opens in new tab) might hold the clues to when the chipmaker could be deploying the next round of NUC and NUC Element offerings.
In the Extreme segment, the NUC 9 Extreme (opens in new tab) (Ghost Canyon) is expected to be the focus throughout 2021. It will supposedly coexist alongside the NUC 11 Extreme (Phantom Canyon), which will arrive to replace the NUC 8 Extreme (Hades Canyon) before the end of this year.
Phantom Canyon (opens in new tab), which utilizes Intel's upcoming 10nm+ Tiger Lake-U (opens in new tab) chips and Nvidia GeForce graphics cards (opens in new tab) was originally rumored to launch in the second half of this year, but this new roadmap shrinks the timeframe down the last few months of the year. That means we can reasonably expect to see Phantom Canyon on shelves in late 2020 or maybe early 2021.
However, the roadmap doesn't mention the NUC 11 Performance (Panther Canyon) anywhere, which makes us doubt its authenticity. Contrary to its high-performance counterpart, Panther Canyon is rumored to come in smaller housing sans the discrete graphics.
The other segments lack any novelties. The NUC 9 Pro (Quartz Canyon) and NUC 8 Pro (Provo Canyon) are already released and will continue to cater to the professional market through 2021. The NUC 8 Rugged (Chaco Canyon) and NUC 8 Essential (June Canyon) have the same life expectancy as the NUC 9 Pro and NUC 8 Pro.
On the NUC Element side, the NUC 11 Compute Element (Elk Bay) looks like it'll be the direct successor to the existing Intel NUC 8 Compute Element (opens in new tab) (Chandler Bay). It's unfortunate that the roadmap doesn't provide any clues on which Intel CPU (opens in new tab) will take a swim in Elk Bay.
Chandler Bay debuted with Intel's underwhelming 8th-Generation 15W Whiskey Lake chips that maxed out at four cores (opens in new tab). With a decent processor upgrade, Elk Bay can finally convert Intel's Element concept into something more attractive. Once again, if the roadmap is accurate, Elk Bay might turn up alongside Phantom Canyon.