Intel has announced that it will cease manufacturing its Next Unit of Computing (NUC) PCs but will support its partners in continuing the production of small form-factor (SFF) PCs, according to a company spokesperson.
The decision reflects Intel’s strategic shift towards its core businesses, particularly its investments in manufacturing operations and foundry business.
While Intel’s NUCs have been known for compact size, the company has relied on partners like Dell and HP to cater to larger chassis options. The decision to step away from direct investment in NUCs aligns with Intel’s strategy, but the company will continue to support the existing NUCs already in the market.
Intel’s foray into NUCs spanned approximately a decade, during which the company aimed to establish the platform as a viable PC option and explore applications for SFF devices. The initial NUC featured a third-generation Core i3 processor and became popular for home theatre PC setups. Subsequent iterations focused on further reducing the chassis size, and Intel even positioned the NUC as a compact gaming platform to rival traditional game consoles.
However, as time passed, competitors caught up with Intel’s advancements, and the company’s pace slowed. Critics pointed out that Intel’s move towards propriety components and more delicate chassis undermined the appeal of its NUCs. Despite their impressive hardware and modular DIY approach, Intel’s latest offering, the Beast Canyon NUC, faced criticism for its increased size, fragile case, and proprietary power supply, giving competitors an advantage.
While Intel’s departure from NUCs may disappoint some enthusiasts, the company’s decision to hand over the production reins to ecosystem partners is not expected to post significant issues for DIY builders. Building SFF PCs presents its own challenges, which can be managed effectively.
Although Intel’s NUC line will be discontinued, the SFF throne will be passed to its partners, who are eager to take up the mantle.