Talk about small and still powerful, this 4x4 core i3 System is being targeted at just $399, including case, power supply and a solid state disk. The system being label the NUC isn’t yet a standard form factor but it is going to be a great size for some of space constraining projects. This product should become available in October this year. Looks like October is going to be a busy month.
NUC is an Intel-developed program, with the goal of shrinking a full performance desktop PC into as small a form factor as possible. While it might seem to compete with Via's Pico ITX, the performance is substantially better than the Via Centaur CPU on those boards. The 4-by-4-inch format was chosen as the smallest board capable of supporting an Intel Ivy Bridge CPU with supporting core logic and expansion.
NUC is aimed at OEMs that may need the small form factor for embedded applications as well as hobbyists looking to build tiny computers into cards, home theater systems or tiny servers. The dedicated video block inside Intel's HD 4000 GPU can handle two HD video streams at full frame rate. Intel isn't planning on selling complete systems, but will source a small case and external power supply for buyers who want to experiment with building a system.
Intel will offer two boards, with the key difference being connectivity. One will include a Thunderbolt port, while the other will have a wired Ethernet connector instead of Thunderbolt. Both will still have WiFi options, similar to those used in many laptops, which will take up the lone mini-PCI slot. OEMs can feel free to use the mini-PCI slot for other purposes if they don't need WiFi. Intel will also offer a chassis just big enough for the board plus an external power supply with the units, so hobbyists and OEMs can experiment with these tiny PCs. The case itself is barely bigger than the 4-by-4-inch board, though the power brick is an external unit. The cases will even have VESA mounts, so can be attached easily to the backs of LCD displays or wall mounted.