Intel bakes palm-sized Core i5 NUC to rival Raspberry Pi
A $35 ARM board has Chipzilla rattled or amused?
Pictures and details of a stripped-back ultra-compact desktop computer from Intel have hit the web.
Packing a Core i3 or Core i5 processor socket on a 10cm-by-10cm board, the hand-sized Intel Next Unit of Computing (NUC) doesn't feature a touchscreen nor a keyboard, although it is one of the smallest complete x86-compatible computers on the market. It's more like an Apple TV in terms of form factor, it's smaller than Mini-ITX boards and yet larger than the credit card-sized Raspberry Pi.
The NUC is destined for kiosks and digital signs, rather than mass sale to the schoolchildren targeted by the UK-designed Pi, but it could find a corner under tellies or in classrooms.
According to Fred Birang, a senior product marketing engineer at Intel, in an interview with Just Press Start, the gear will hit the market in the second half of the year.
The NUC has two SO-DIMM laptop memory slots, and two mini PCIe headers allowing the motherboard to be expanded. There are a series of sockets for Thunderbolt, HDMI and USB 3.0. Naturally it needs a heatsink and fan assembly. Anyone who has used or seen a development board or played with Mini-ITX kit will be forgiven for their bemusement at the ripple of excitement caused by this hunk of silicon.
Powered by the Sandy Bridge i5 chip with an Intel HD 3000 GPU, the NUC is still going to be a whole load more powerful than the ARM-compatible 700MHz Broadcom SoC in the Raspberry Pi - and will support the gigantic Microsoft Windows platform. Consequently it's going to chug a lot more energy and be more expensive.
The price is not yet decided, but the smart boxes are likely to cost significantly more than the $35 Raspberry Pi. Birang said the price wouldn't be in the "hundreds or thousands" and blog Extreme Tech suggested a $100 price tag. But then, the Pi is not for profit, and Intel obviously wants to make money off their boxes. ®
Re: different beasts
What he said! If anything this is more akin to Via's Nano-itx (at 12cmx12cm) than the rasberry pi.
The main selling point of the pi is that it is so cheap, cheap enough that you could take risks with it that you would not want to do with something costing 10x as much. Basically I see it as an experimental computer (something between a fully fledged PC and micro-controllers), something you can use to teach yourself, or stick it in difficult environments without risking a lot of money.
The Intel does not compete with it, they are in different leagues completely.
Imho this shows how intel are floundering around having realized that arm are going to eat their business from the bottom up.
The raspberry pi must have alarm bells ringing. This could be the thing that finally gets linux adopted firstly by youngsters. They learn linux, they don't need intel boxes to run it. Another 10 years from now they start to be the influence in business with what they buy and use.
I cant help but feel that ms don't like the pi for the same reasons, and unlike the netbooks you can't shoe horn windows onto the pi. Therefore the only alternative is get a supplier to make something to counter the pi. A little pressure never hurts, especially if they (intel) believe ms may drop them as a supported platrom down the line anyway. Its a great time to rebuild a bridge if such an opportunity arises like this.
Then again, I may just be reading too much into it....
Fan = show stopper
A fan is moving parts and single point of failure. Best avoided if possible especially for embedded systems.
Biscuits or Pi?
There are lots of embedded PC formats. Apart from the fairly popular Mini (and Micro)-ATX there is also a 3½ inch "biscuit" format and a 4 inch PC104 size, which seems to be about the same as this new offering.
These are intended for embedded use - as is the Pi, though given the power and heatsinking requirements of Intel's latest attempt, I'm not convinced that's the market they're aiming for.
It's definitely not a Pi-worrier.
Re: different beasts
Agreed Ogi. Definitely different beasts. I plan on using the Pi in Big Gun R/C Model Warship Combat to replace the more conventional R/C guts while adding new functionality (like cameras, sensor readings and such that I don't have now). Some things are hard to tell from 50ft away with a 5-6' model ship on the water. I *suspect* the other robotic combat guys (ala the Robot Wars folks) will start doing the same.
The Pi ($25 for regular Pi and $35 for Pi+) can also get used in quantity with a lot more laissez faire attitude if your experiment doesn't work out. (and by not work out, I mean a release of magic blue smoke) Definitely a hobbyist board. Kinda like the Altair of old in that regard. I don't see doing that with the Intel board.
Penguin cuz that's what Pi runs innit it?