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Intel Unveils Tiny Next Unit of Computing To Match Raspberry Pi

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the small-like-you dept.

Intel 194

MrSeb writes "Details of a new, ultra-compact computer form factor from Intel, called the Next Unit of Computing (NUC) are starting to emerge. First demonstrated at PAX East at the beginning of April, and Intel's Platinum Summit in London last week, NUC is a complete 10x10cm (4x4in) Sandy Bridge Core i3/i5 computer. On the back, there are Thunderbolt, HDMI, and USB 3.0 ports. On the motherboard itself, there are two SO-DIMM (laptop) memory slots and two mini PCIe headers. On the flip side of the motherboard is a CPU socket that takes most mobile Core i3 and i5 processors, and a heatsink and fan assembly. Price-wise, it's unlikely that the NUC will approach the $25 Raspberry Pi, but an Intel employee has said that the price will 'not be in the hundreds and thousands range.' A price point around $100 would be reasonable, and would make the NUC an ideal HTPC or learning/educational PC. The NUC is scheduled to be released in the second half of 2012."

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194 comments

Nicely expandable. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39844793)

Sounds like this has a lot of IO and expandability options. It could fill a niche not fully served by RPi.

Re:Nicely expandable. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845173)

The headline is complete sensationalist bullshit. This has absolutely nothing to do with the Raspberry Pi and doesn't compete with it in any appreciable way. Fucking Slashdot.

Re:Nicely expandable. (0, Troll)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#39845309)

Mod parent up. What kind of knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers are getting access to the firehose these days?

Re:Nicely expandable. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845313)

Actually it's not Fucking Slashdot, the author of the article at ExtremeTech makes the comparison to the Raspberry Pi. The headline is a fair summery.

Re:Nicely expandable. (2, Insightful)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#39845395)

Maybe Slashdot could be held to a higher standard and not copy that kind of crap verbatim. There is at least one other site where I get my tech news that seems to be able to pull this off and they make less money and post more stories to boot.

Re:Nicely expandable. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845695)

Actually, it's still spring.

Re:Nicely expandable. (3, Informative)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about 2 years ago | (#39845677)

It is more comparable to the BeagleBoard from TFS, but Raspberry Pi is more in the news now so it is a reasonable statement.

Re:Nicely expandable. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845881)

It is not a reasonable statement at all. The raspi is being sold for 25 dollars which is essentially a throway price and it will run on USB power. Its small size is actually secondary to its appeal. This thing will cost at least 4 times as much for board and CPU and will need an external brick. The fact that people do not see the difference is astounding. Especially considering boards that are close to this have been on store shelves for years and years. Ever heard of Via?

amazing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39844797)

If the price is on par with raspberry or just above it this is going to be awesome. 293479x times the power.

Re:amazing (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#39845137)

If the price is on par with raspberry or just above it this is going to be awesome. 293479x times the power.

Not happening, unfortunately. At retail(newegg.com used, prices for CPUs tend to be pretty similar across the board at a given time) the cheapest LGA1155 CPU is ~$40. 1.6GHz, single core, desktop binned part(unfortunately, low-end mobile CPUs don't seem to be as available in the retail channel, so I couldn't find a number for something in the mobile TDP range). At least it comes with a fan. Now, even such a puny device will brutalize a 700mhz ARM SoC designed to run from whatever battery is slim enough to fit in a contemporary cellphone; but if the CPU alone costs $5 more than the entire rpi, CPU+motherboard is going to run at least double, and RAM and boot volume still haven't been taken care of.

An overwhelmingly more powerful platform, certainly, as one would expect in a PC vs. basically-a-cellphone matchup; but the price delta is about what one would expect as well...

Re:amazing (2)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#39845335)

If the price is on par with raspberry

Um, it isn't. The board will cost more than a Pi. Then there's the CPU. Oh, and the RAM. And there's no SD card slot so it has no storage without buying an add-on.

Not bad, but still missing the point... (5, Insightful)

Junta (36770) | about 2 years ago | (#39844805)

A design that, sans CPU, optimistically would cost 4 times as much as raspberry pi? CPUs that by themselves notably cost at least $250 right now?

To get to the Raspberry pi functionality, looking at $350 investment. That's more than an order of magnitude more expensive. I know the solution will be more powerful than raspberry pi, but the nearly all the excitement around raspberry pi revolves around price point.

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39844889)

A) I don't really think that anyone but the person who wrote the Slashdot headline actually thinks this thing and the Rasberrpy Pi belong in the same category.

B) At this point, we have nothing but complete speculation as to what this will cost or what you will get for whatever that cost is. However, your $250 number was way off base. A Core i3 Sandy Bridge can be found for $100 right now, a price that only figures to go down significantly in the months until this new board's release, since Sandy Bridge is now a last gen processor.

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (4, Informative)

Morty (32057) | about 2 years ago | (#39844969)

A) I don't really think that anyone but the person who wrote the Slashdot headline actually thinks this thing and the Rasberrpy Pi belong in the same category.

RTFA. The comparison to Rasberrpy Pi was in the article.

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about 2 years ago | (#39845091)

A) I don't really think that anyone but the person who wrote the Slashdot headline actually thinks this thing and the Rasberrpy Pi belong in the same category.

RTFA. The comparison to Rasberrpy Pi was in the article.

Also in the article was the statement that it

targets digital signage and kiosks

which is not really the Pi-in-the-skies forte.

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (1)

AchilleTalon (540925) | about 2 years ago | (#39845427)

So, Intel just hack the popularity of the Raspberry Pi to try selling is future product or make customer delay their own near to orders for the Raspberry Pi.

FMAU (F... Marketing As Usual)

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (1)

AchilleTalon (540925) | about 2 years ago | (#39845473)

Sorry for all the typos. I was a little bit annoyed by the marketing strategy to surf on the Raspberry Pi popularity and make people talking about their product for cheap while it isn't really a competitor.

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (4, Insightful)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 2 years ago | (#39844901)

For that price, you may as well buy a cheap laptop. Bung something like edubuntu on, and bam - portable educational PC on a budget.

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | about 2 years ago | (#39845119)

The company I work for wanted a cheap, portable computer for mobile archiving. We found an i5 quad core/4GB ram/750GBhdd for about $375 at the local Best Buy, not even on sale. And that includes the processor, the monitor, and a VGA output.

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39844907)

I'm thinking the critical variable will be availability. If you're waiting forever for your Raspberry Pi or end up paying a scalper a higher price, higher priced commercial offerings like this may very well win out. Honestly I don't think Raspberry Pi is going to ever manage to produce enough to meet demand at their current price target.

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#39845175)

I'd be fairly surprised if this exact product ever sees the light of retail, intel kicks out prototypes of stuff all the time; but it would entirely fail to surprise me if some substantial percentage of boring-business 'ultra-small-form-factor' systems and 'compact' consumer PCs are running variously OEMed trivial variants of the design soon enough...

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39844911)

Yes, though the power could be useful for certain mobile applications like context recognition, speech recognition, robotics...

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (-1, Troll)

pak9rabid (1011935) | about 2 years ago | (#39844953)

I know the solution will be more powerful than raspberry pi, but the nearly all the excitement around raspberry pi revolves around price point.

As far as I'm concerned, the Raspberry Pi is vaporware. As much as I hate to say it, Intel is going to dominate this market due to the massive production capabilities they have.

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845399)

As far as I'm concerned, the Raspberry Pi is vaporware. As much as I hate to say it, Intel is going to dominate this market due to the massive production capabilities they have.

Raspberry Pi Vapourware? How can it be when it is sold and in people's hands right now?

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (0, Troll)

pak9rabid (1011935) | about 2 years ago | (#39845829)

In the US, it's vaporware....show me a place where I can get one locally.

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39844967)

Sorry, but nobody's missing the point.

Intel didn't draw any comparison to the Raspberry Pi (unsurprisingly, since this is far more comparable to the Mac Mini platform), so they're not missing the point.

Extremetech knew that controversy generates page views generates ad revenue, so when they drew a NUC/R-Pi comparison, they knew exactly what they were doing -- bullshitting to generate controversy. They're not missing the point of a modern, ad-fueled tech site, this is how it's "supposed" to work.

Slashdot is just like a modern, ad-fueled tech site, but with lower overhead due to no writers and no real editors -- the more stories they approve, the better, and again, if it contains "controversy" (i.e. bullshit) from upstream, that just means more page views, cha-ching! So they're not missing the point.

If anything, maybe you're missing the point -- you seem to think these sites are about news, not about selling your eyeballs to advertisers for money. It's all about money, nothing about news.

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (1)

MrSeb (471333) | about 2 years ago | (#39845051)

I'm fairly sure that this will come with a bundled CPU. Look at the heatsink/fan assembly -- it's like a laptop. Asking consumers to fiddle around with that would be a bit silly.

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (1)

SirFatty (1940968) | about 2 years ago | (#39845053)

Where exactly did you come up with the raspberry connection? It states in the article that it is developed for the digital signage and kiosk environment. Your faux outrage is a bit misplaced.

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (1)

KlomDark (6370) | about 2 years ago | (#39845895)

Why are there so many songs about raspberries
  and what's on the other side?
  Raspberries are visions, but only illusions,
  and raspberries have nothing to hide.
  So we've been told and some choose to believe it.
  I know they're wrong, wait and see.
  Someday we'll find it, the raspberry connection.
  The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard
  and answered when wished on the morning star?
  Somebody thought of that and someone believed it.
  Look what it's done so far.
  What's so amazing that keeps us star gazing
  and what do we think we might see?
  Someday we'll find it, the raspberry connection.
  The lovers, the dreamers and me.

All of us under its spell. We know that it's probably magic.

Have you been half asleep and have you heard voices?
  I've heard them calling my name.
  Is this the sweet sound that called the young sailors.
  The voice might be one and the same.
  I've heard it too many times to ignore it.
  It's something that I'm supposed to be.
  Someday we'll find it, the raspberry connection.
  The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | about 2 years ago | (#39845055)

Not just that, but this is a double sided board. Making any installation thicker than a Rasp. Pi.

I don't see why they can't just make a true bare bone board at a very low price point.

Nevermind. No profit margins on a $5 board.

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845097)

I'd just like to point out for people that haven't read the article that it's the article which compares it to the Rpi, not Intel.
A bit further down the article you see what Intel's official target is.
"According to Fred Birang, a senior product marketing engineer at Intel, the NUC is primarily targeted at digital signage and kiosks."

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (1)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 years ago | (#39845327)

CPUs that by themselves notably cost at least $250 right now?

If the article is correct in guessing the whole thing comes in at around $100 (including CPU), I would be very interested. (To me the specs would imply look more like $200-$225). This would be a perfect "dumb terminal" with enough power to run a browser locally so you get sound, video and flash games (which don't work on an real dumb terminal, e.g. x11). The Pi would cannot do that.

The Mac Mini, by comparison, is over $500. This Intel doesn't have mass storage, so I wonder how you boot it.

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845647)

http://liliputing.com/2012/03/mele-a1000-is-a-70-hackable-linux-friendly-arm-based-pc.html
1GHz Cortex-A8, 512MB ram, native SATA, HDMI and VGA out, 3*USB2, 10/100 LAN, b/g/n wifi... for about $100 from dx.

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#39845507)

Yeah not really seeing the connection to the Pi, heck the chip alone is $250, not exactly anywhere near Pi. Now maybe if they had used an Atom, like those $80 AMD E350 boards? Then I could see a comparison. But all this is is something many of us have seen, car computers. There are a few companies out there building little bitty X86 units for cars and that's what this reminds me of, NOT the Pi. And how much juice does an i3 suck? The E350 is 18w, the Pi I can't recall but I remember its some teeny number, I just don't see an i3 getting anywhere close to that low.

Might make a good HTPC though, but then again the pi and the E350 can both do that at a HELL of a lot cheaper. At the price of a chip for this thing alone you could buy 10 Pi units or a complete E350 kit with the memory, HDD, nice VCR style case and a 24x DVD and still have money left over. Just not seeing the appeal here, except that this lets Intel say "Me too!" and put a checkmark on a PPT, cool looking mini-case though, will they come with those?

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (1)

adisakp (705706) | about 2 years ago | (#39845835)

CPUs that by themselves notably cost at least $250 right now?

To get to the Raspberry pi functionality, looking at $350 investment.

You can buy a 3.06GHz i3 for $100 from Amazon [amazon.com] right now.

Plus from reading the article, it sounds like the $100 price point is what Intel is planning on targetting with some sort of Core-i series CPU included.

Re:Not bad, but still missing the point... (1)

adisakp (705706) | about 2 years ago | (#39845869)

FTA:

Price-wise, Birang, speaking to Just Press Start, says the NUC will “not be in the hundreds and thousands range,” and that Intel is still looking at “different kinds of SKUs.” It almost certainly won’t be as cheap as the $25 Raspberry Pi, but a price point around $100 would be realistic. Judging by the heatsink and fan assembly, the NUC will probably come with a CPU pre-installed — and hopefully some RAM, too.

They don't get it (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39844843)

that embedded computing is not about HDMI and USB ports. Give me serial peripherals, I2C, Ethernet, and all this in a *single* system-on-chip, so I don't have to add support chips around the core.

Re:They don't get it (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 2 years ago | (#39845161)

Atmel?

Re:They don't get it (1)

JAlexoi (1085785) | about 2 years ago | (#39845709)

I'm sorry, did you just compare a 32bit SoC with an 2 dollar 8bit MCU?
Maybe do a better comparison? http://www.atmel.com/devices/AT32UC3A0256.aspx [atmel.com] (And even then...)

Re:They don't get it (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845787)

Who said 8-bit AVR? Atmel also makes single-chip 32 bit SoCs. With *drumroll* on-chip USARTs and ethernet, exactly what GGP asked for.

Re:They don't get it (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | about 2 years ago | (#39845361)

Maybe, but part of the excitement of Raspberry Pi is that you can hook it up to a TV via HDMI and get either a cheap media center box or computer.

Re:They don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845461)

that embedded computing is not about HDMI and USB ports. Give me serial peripherals, I2C, Ethernet, and all this in a *single* system-on-chip, so I don't have to add support chips around the core.

BoardX. www.upgradeindustries.com/

Re:They don't get it (1)

zzyzyx (1382375) | about 2 years ago | (#39845613)

Really? There is a very big offer in this market. NXP, Atmel, Microchip, etc all have chips with integrated peripherals and RAM.

Re:They don't get it (1)

aaarrrgggh (9205) | about 2 years ago | (#39845911)

There are a lot of uses for these types of boards for a lot of different types of people. For me, I wanted a board that I could turn an old monitor into an electronic dashboard; VGA would have done the job but HDMI is workable. I went with a BeagleBone with the DVI board for that project, but I would have been better off with a Raspberry Pi had they been available. Another project is much better suited for an Arduino.

But... for pretty much everything you will need some kind of expansion capability, which is why you have shields and capes. You even have breadboard options if you need something a little more complex and don't want to invest in getting a board made. This isn't a one-size fits all world, and I think tinkerers are better off because of it.

In what respect does it match the Raspberry pi? (4, Insightful)

omershapira (2446398) | about 2 years ago | (#39844845)

It's far more powerful, probably consumes far more as well, and has no I/O pins, which is kind of the point in cheap SOACs like Raspberry Pi. Oh, and it won't be "lock up your daughters" cheap either. If anything, for spec and output, it sounds like a competitor in the Mac Mini ballpark.

Re:In what respect does it match the Raspberry pi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845873)

Lol doesn't dimension of this box looks like an Apple TV?

I'd hit that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39844851)

"second half of 2012"...it seems likely that I might get my hands on one of these sooner than my raspberry pi, which I successfully ordered and paid for in the first 24 hours of the raspi on-sale announcement.

MPEG2 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39844877)

At least *this* one will be useful for multimedia purposes (satellite, DVD, etc). The lack of MPEG2 makes the Raspberry Pi worthless for a good solid real-time flexible media centre. Having those PCI ports will also mean hooking up other important multimedia things that are missing on the Raspberry Pi, such as SPDIF, and who knows, maybe even VGA. x86 compatibility is just the icing on the cake.

Re:MPEG2 (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845073)

First, x86 is shit-flavored icing. It's an ugly architecture kludged over and over, and plastered over with a half-dozen flavors of SIMD along the way. Unless you really want to run some specific proprietary software only available on x86, it's manifestly a bad thing.

Second, and this is a serious question, who uses MPEG2 anymore? The only thing I've seen it on recently is DVDs, and they're low enough bitrate to handle in software -- all HD sources I've seen lately use some flavor of MPEG4 or VC-1. Is this a US-only issue?

Re:MPEG2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845235)

>Second, and this is a serious question, who uses MPEG2 anymore?

www.lyngsat.com

About 75% of that is MPEG-2. Also, Blu-Ray. Did you not read the specs for Blu-Ray? No? Read them again and pay some attention this time.

But, prove me wrong, how many satellite broadcasts are MPEG-2 vs. MPEG-4? I don't care about HD vs. SD, that's a red herring, especially since most HD content in America is MPEG-2. I care about the codec used, that's what counts.

Most cable broadcasts are MPEG-2. In fact, all of them, from what I recall.

Also, ATSC is MPEG-2, as is DVB-T (well, as originally specced). Both HD. Both MPEG-2.

>all HD sources I've seen lately use some flavor of MPEG4 or VC-1

Really? They upgraded all satellite receivers across the entire planet already, all the way to VC-1 (I've never even seen a CI capable chip for that, I must be out of it)? Incredible. I guess I was left out of the loop, along with all of America (no, not the US, America the continent). And Europe, too, I'm told, has many MPEG-2 HD broadcasts.

So, let's see what you can't play every time with the Raspberry Pi:

  - DVD worldwide
  - Blu-Ray worldwide
  - Satellite TV worldwide
  - Off the air TV worldwide
  - Cable TV (not sure if this is a worldwide problem, seems cable operators are more likely to upgrade their equipment)

What you can play every time with the Raspberry Pi

  - Pirate movies. If you download the right ones. Because there's plenty out there that won't be any good.
  - VideoCD. I assume the CPU power is enough for at least MPEG-1... And, of course, most VideoCDs are pirate CDs.

Great, getting off on the right foot, are we?

x86 might be a shitty architecture, but damn, there's a lot of software written for it and it's certainly not going to be much fuss to get that running. I call simplicity a good thing. You call it bad because you're the programmer. That's cool, as you wish. Plenty of us out there don't mind paying someone else for the work.

Re:MPEG2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845475)

The Blu-ray spec does support MPEG-2 but was to facilitate the transition from DVD. I don't know any recent Blu-ray titles that still use MPEG-2.

I don't know about the other satellite providers but DirecTV stopped broadcasting HD in MPEG-2 in 2010. All their new hardware is MPEG-4.

For all other legacy MPEG-2 applications their is software decoding.

Re:MPEG2 (2)

DrXym (126579) | about 2 years ago | (#39845343)

Second, and this is a serious question, who uses MPEG2 anymore? The only thing I've seen it on recently is DVDs, and they're low enough bitrate to handle in software -- all HD sources I've seen lately use some flavor of MPEG4 or VC-1. Is this a US-only issue?

Many countries still do for broadcast TV, especially SD content. e.g. the UK uses MPEG-2 for its DVB-T SD transmissions. I'm sure it would love to switch to AVC and DVB-T2 but that would instantly obsolete any TV or set top box using the existing format and cause an uproar It means for the moment at least that MPEG-2 is still a necessity. It's also likely that MPEG-LA structures their licences such that there is no reason NOT to include support.

Re:MPEG2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845495)

Have you *tried* software decoding a SD MPEG2 stream (DVD, DVB) on something as dinky as the Pis 700MHz ARM11?
Hint: even on a 1GHz Cortex-A8 it's hairy.

Re:MPEG2 (1)

chuckinator (2409512) | about 2 years ago | (#39845123)

That's what software is for.

Re:MPEG2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845445)

Oh, I'm sure the CPU in the Pi will handily decode MPEG-2 in software, especially for an HD broadcast.

You on drugs or something? Can I have some of what you're smoking?

Re:MPEG2 (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 2 years ago | (#39845145)

Why would you want VGA? Do you really like video signals that go from digital to analog and back to digital again? Or are you still using a CRT?

Re:MPEG2 (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 2 years ago | (#39845425)

Compatibility with pretty much every monitor in circulation. There are lots of older/cheaper flat panels in circulation that don't have a digital input and there are still a few old CRTs hanging arronund as well.

Having to buy a monitor VS being able to use a castoff monitor makes a big difference to the total cost.

External power supply? (2)

gelfling (6534) | about 2 years ago | (#39844925)

I doubt the guts of my laptop are much bigger than that once you tear out the scree, keyboard, DVD drive, superfluous external ports.

Re:External power supply? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845165)

Which is the great thing -- now laptops can all use this standard form-factor, with all the platform-specific stuff on the mini PCI-E cards, and you can swap motherboards freely (instead of carefully matching between closely-related models from the some manufacturer).

Well, a nerd can wish, yes?

Re:External power supply? (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 2 years ago | (#39845957)

We'll see honest politicians and world peace before we see standard notebook form-factors.

They are "planned obsolescence" almost perfected. If makers could conveniently use only proprietary RAM and hard disks, it would be vendor lock paradise.

What's going on here? (-1, Offtopic)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 2 years ago | (#39844945)

What hold does the makers of the Rasberry Pi have over Slashdot editors? Blackmail pictures from the last office party?

Re:What's going on here? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 2 years ago | (#39845115)

I'm betting Slashdot editors ordered a Raspberry Pi and still haven't received it. It consumes 95% of their thoughts and that's why they keep mentioning it everywhere.

Re:What's going on here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845269)

Or maybe, just maybe it's mentioned in The Fucking Article. I know, I know, this is Slashdot where nobody reads blah blah blah but at least keep your head out of your ass and you fucking mouth shut.

HOW ABOUT (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | about 2 years ago | (#39844977)

Intel goes and finishes the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classmate_PC [wikipedia.org]. Before starting a new project?

Re:HOW ABOUT (1)

amram9999 (829761) | about 2 years ago | (#39845491)

With the Classmate, they were successful in curbing the enthusiasm of the OLPC project (which faltered for many other reasons as well). Intel may have similar goals here, namely take away momentum from their competition, without actually having to sell many units. The Raspberry Pi has many uses, but one big one is a lightweight web-browser PC. That has the potential to cannibalize the traditional desktop market, which surely has higher margins for Intel. So their goal is to kill the low-margin market, not compete in it. If they announce a product that costs less than $100 and can run Windows, that may slow down Raspberry Pi from gaining traction as a lightweight desktop replacement.

10x10? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39844985)

So a little bigger than the VIA EPIA Pico-ATX?

What is Thunderbolt? Never heard about it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39844995)

What is Thunderbolt? Never heard about it.
Perhaps some Apple bus tech that nobody else uses?

Give me eSATA and VGA dammit!

Re:What is Thunderbolt? Never heard about it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845093)

Thunderbolt = Intel + Apple.
VGA = that shit died a decade ago. Or do you also want your DB9 serial, DB25 parallel and PS/2 ports back?

Re:What is Thunderbolt? Never heard about it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845433)

I wouldn't mind having DB9 serial back, since tacking on RS-232C to any home-brew microcontroller projects is dead simple.

Parallel and PS/2 died the death they deserve, though.

Re:What is Thunderbolt? Never heard about it. (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 2 years ago | (#39845555)

VGA = that shit died a decade ago.

No it didn't at least not at the cheap end of the market, most new monitors now have DVI but I see plenty of older ones (both CRT and LCD) that only have VGA and are still perfectly servicable.

Or do you also want your DB9 serial, DB25 parallel and PS/2 ports back?

my latest motherboard (gigabyte Z68AP-D3) has one each of those ports and I wasn't even specifically looking for any of them when I bought it. It doesn't have VGA but there are other motherboards in the same price range that do (I don't use the onboard graphics so I didn't care what interface it had).

Re:What is Thunderbolt? Never heard about it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845263)

http://liliputing.com/2012/03/mele-a1000-is-a-70-hackable-linux-friendly-arm-based-pc.html
There.

Umm? (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 years ago | (#39845013)

Yo Dog, I herd you like mac minis, so I spent the past seven years hitting a mini with the ugly stick and then released it as some sort of revolutionary device... Seriously.

Just for giggles, I then compared it to an entirely different device based around a smartphone processor and in an entirely different price bracket. This makes total sense, just trust me.

Now, purely in itself, a standardized teeny-ATX motherboard would be nice(especially if we'll someday be able to get mini-PCIe cards that aren't NICs in any quantity... If Intel is planning one, that seems like a good thing all around: the world is already cluttered with various proprietary teeny-motherboard things, and it'd be nice to have a bit of unification in that area.

However, I'm just not seeing the novelty here: The x86/embedded/industrial market has been rotten with teeny motherboards for almost as long as there has been an embedded x86 market, most laptops are built around small x86 motherboards by necessity, and some comparatively niche players, along with Apple, have released desktop products of not dissimilar size already. Historically, they've been fairly expensive, since minaturization isn't free, and Intel has no reason to cut margins on their silicon if they can avoid it. If Chipzilla has decided to drop the hammer and specify where teeny motherboards Shall put their screw holes, great; but that would be about the only new aspect of all this...

Re:Umm? (1)

ediron2 (246908) | about 2 years ago | (#39845379)

If Chipzilla has decided to drop the hammer and specify where teeny motherboards Shall put their screw holes, great; but that would be about the only new aspect of all this...

Great comment; and this one sentence's 4+ levels of LOL. You nailed many of the ironies from TFA and in Intel's design, but left one unmentioned -- Intel and the article seem to be overreaching for a comparison to sip some of the attention from: a nonprofit project by a few academics in the UK. The zillion-dollar-marketing-machine you call Chipzilla is playing me-too against a handful of folks who created RasPi because nobody'd answer their calls for such a device. Talk about PWNed.

Re:Umm? (1)

Kjella (173770) | about 2 years ago | (#39845605)

Historically, they've been fairly expensive, since minaturization isn't free

For sure that's some part of it, but the biggest reason is that laptops used to be a business segment with business prices. You paid a huge premium to get things like power savings on the CPU, not because of different production costs but because you were segregating the residential and professional market. There was a rather huge market turnaround when they found out they could make more money selling laptops to everyone rather than have it as a high-price niche, it was a completely different pricing structure across the board. Perhaps the most relevant recent analogy is smart phones, iPhone and Android are selling to completely other markets than the niche Blackberry did.

New form factor (3, Interesting)

Joehonkie (665142) | about 2 years ago | (#39845017)

Who says this is supposed to be competition for the Raspberry Pi at all? Intel is trying to integrate as much as possible into their native chips. A shrink in form factor for lightweight PCs completely makes sense in that line.

Re:New form factor (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#39845245)

I'm thinking that this could put MetroUI into the living room with a tablet input or some such. Kinect might be pushing it, unless it's got much better voice control than Win7 does.

Price be damned (3, Insightful)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | about 2 years ago | (#39845065)

IMHO, the goal should be to make a ubiquitous embedded platform for building appliances. To that end, the device needs to be low power so that it could run on batteries. It also need to run a real OS e.g. Linux but the catch here is that it needs to completely boot in a few seconds at most especially if it's faceless. Products from Technologic Systems make great strides towards this but their sub-2-second boot times are to Busybox and don't include USB initialization. USB adds another 4 seconds to the boot time. Six seconds is reasonable for a faceless system but anything longer than that and the user will wonder if it's working or not. Booting to Debian takes way too long. Beyond this, such systems need to be tolerant of power loss. Running off batteries means a real power switch. Any file system that takes minutes to check after a power loss is out.

Make it so.

Intel are not new to this (2)

Yvan256 (722131) | about 2 years ago | (#39845079)

You can already get an Atom-powered mini-ITX for only 70$USD [logicsupply.com].

The crazy thing is that you could probably fit two of these new NUC boards into the case of an old C64, along with a power supply and a hard drive.

Re:Intel are not new to this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845527)

The crazy thing is that you could probably fit two of these new NUC boards into the case of an old C64, along with a power supply and a hard drive.

You've just given a horde of geeks playing M.U.L.E. an orgasm.

Re:Intel are not new to this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845651)

yawn. What you linked doesn't look anywhere close to matching the Pi's power requirements, or dongle-sized form factor. Look at the heat sink on that thing! Lulz.

I'm sure the Pi will have plenty of use in education, where the kids have a "portable" solution they own, take home, and plug into the TV set after school. Is this atom like that? Nope.

Besides education, many Pu installations (generally speaking) will be DIY and "embedded"... ie, shrink-wrapping a Pi INLINE into a USB cable for a small footprint print server, home automation, etc, solar/battery sensor systems. There's just NO WAY that Intel's current architectures can compete with that

The war is already over, and no one at Intel has the courage to point out the emperor is not wearing any clothes, because the shareholders want to squeeze more short term stock gains. ARM doesn't give a shit... ARM just licenses tech to OEMs who want to MAKE form and power factors that users and OEMs _want_.

This boom of ARM reminds me of the heydays of competition during the late 1980s, back when "home computers" were "yours".

Thunderbolt and a $100 price? (1)

Bookwyrm (3535) | about 2 years ago | (#39845141)

So, a motherboard with no RAM and no CPU, in the $100 range, I can see. But with Thunderbolt, too? I know the Thunderbolt cables are a bit pricey because of the chips built into those, but are the Thunderbolt controller chips *that* much cheaper than the cable chips?

Shouldn't be compared to Raspberry Pi (2)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | about 2 years ago | (#39845299)

This sounds great. If they can get it to low enough price and don't intentionally cripple it to avoid it eating into their more mainstream product sales, it will be ideal for low power servers, car computers, etc.

BUT... it's not in the same league as the Raspberry Pi, not on price and not on application.

A NUC, with CPU, GPU, RAM, etc, (and presumably a profit margin?) is never going to be in same price range as the Raspberry Pi. It may not be in the 'hundreds and thousands range' (note the plural on hundreds) but I can't see this happening for $100 either. Maybe closer to $180 to start with. That alone puts it in a different league than the $30 Raspberry Pi, especially when it comes to education and the potential for it to be damaged. The raspberry Pi is almost disposable compared to this, making it ideal for use by children, for experimentation and hobbies.

And with regards to power consumption, a Raspberry Pi uses what, 2-3 Watts? The NUC, even with a low power mobile processor is never going to match this. Super low power consumption makes the Raspberry Pi useable for applications like small robotics, mobile or external projects where the only power source may be battery, solar, etc. You can run the Raspberry Pi off AA batteries for a decent amount of time.

Also, the fact this requires a fan means it will probably be broken within weeks, if not hours, once placed in hands of experimenting children unless they're simply used as traditional computer devices, in which case there's not much point in using this over a normal PC. The Raspberry Pi's are meant to be tinkered with, have pins for daughter boards that children can make themselves, etc. I can't see many school children making use of the NUC's PCIe expansion ports so easily and affordably!

I think the price point alone kind of rules this out from being widely used in education. Schools may be able to afford one or two per class if they're lucky, but what's the point? They most likely have at least that number of x86 PCs sitting idle in the same room? At least with Raspberry Pi you can have children working in pairs, with a device for each pair, or maybe over time, one each. And if they break it, it's not exactly the end of the world.

Does size really mater? (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 2 years ago | (#39845359)

The total cost for one of these systems is going to be more than a cheap Netbook. At least with a Netbook I have storage to put an OS, lots of ports, Wifi built in, and much more. I've converted my old Acer Netbook into the playrooms HTPC, and it's small enough that it takes up very little space.

Sounds like a MythTV Frontend to me ! (1)

dowens81625 (2500160) | about 2 years ago | (#39845393)

I love the flexibility of the design, now if they will include an i5 core, and 4 GB of RAM for around $250 I'd be sold.

Lies, damn lies, and .... Illusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#39845469)

As far as I can tell, this is bullocks. Why you might ask? Because the last thing Intel, AMD, and every OEM on the planet wants, is fully capable PC board that costs less than a night out on the town!

If you set the price floor that low on basic computing, everyone else has to follow suit. It's not a matter of marketing, but economics. Yes, your average Joe won't know what to do with a Raspberry Pi, however when his coworker boasts of the $50~ he spent on a Pi and it does everything he needs for basic computing, that is gonna hit home when he starts thinking about a new system. That is a death moan for the OEM market in general. Ok, maybe not death moan, but I don't see PC sales in general sustaining the way they have been the past few years simply due to the fact that, whilst Moore's law is in effect, hardware and software isn't really the bottoleneck now. It's network access.

Personally I'd love it if I could drop $40-50 on a fully functional board like the Pi. Yes, there are those detractors who are saying the 'so and so' ARM SoC/FPGA Soc is the same thing and 'better', and only $25 more, however I'm not looking for a full dev board, despite with the Pi that ability is there.

This play by Intel is to merely get in on the marketing hype that the Pi created, and again, they have missed the boat. There aim is, like some posters have noted, an order of magnitude more than the price of the Pi. If the pricepoint isn't even at $100 for similar or the same spec's that they've announced, I'm not even the slightest bit interested.

The whole boat here is lowest floor price point, with spec's that can match any off-the-shelf basic PC box. That's it. That's all there is. And once again, Intel has missed it out of the need/want to jump in the river of hype!

It's an AppleTV! (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 2 years ago | (#39845717)

It looks just like an AppleTV, but expandable. If they can figure out a cheap way to get a processor and memory on board, it would be an ideal platform for all the XBMC tinkerers out there.

Doesn't look stackable (1)

toxonix (1793960) | about 2 years ago | (#39845723)

FTFA: "The use of the word “unit” is particularly interesting — it suggests that the NUC might be stackable, in much the same way as my imaginary.."

The fan location suggests otherwise. Stack them and they will be drawing heat from their brethren.

Should be compared to ITX boards instead (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 2 years ago | (#39845971)

First of all, from the summary:

A price point around $100 would be reasonable, and would make the NUC an ideal HTPC or learning/educational PC.

Guess what? Pretty much any cheap computer picked from eBay makes for a great learning/educational PC! What Intel is creating here is a full high-performance general-use computer, not some simple board for embedded projects. A way better comparison could be found from the Nano-ITX and Pico-ITX form factors, which for some reason never really took off (not many products). If you can educate me, why is that, I'd be appreciated. Maybe Mini-ITX was "small enough"?

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