Rich Stroffolino

Intel Finally Licenses The NUC

When Intel announced it was discontinuing its diminutive NUC PCs last week, my first thought was why hadn’t Intel made this an open design spec years ago. Well it looks like they are doing just that. It’s giving Asus a non-exclusive license on its designs, opening the door for other firms to jump on board.

Intel doesn’t make money on PCs, its a chip company to the bone. It never made any sense why they made the NUC lineup, other than to show OEMs what was possible with its silicon in a very small form factor. Don’t get me wrong, Intel has made some cool NUC units over the years. They had some potential as console-sized gaming PCs, especially the AMD graphics collab with its Hades Canyon version.

When I worked for Gestalt IT, my boss loved to run our office infrastructure off of these little NUCs. They were quiet, reasonably powerful, and surprisingly configurable. Plus if you waited a few chip generations, the price was right. I also know they’ve found a niche in the HTPC market, and just people like the form factor. There’s already a flourishing tiny-PC market out there, but hopefully we’ll see a few OEMs keep the NUC designs alive.