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Exclusive: Intel to launch $139 Bay Trail NUCs in Q1 2014

by Tarinder Sandhu on 12 September 2013, 23:45

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qab2vv

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Mobility is the central thrust of this year's Intel Developer Forum (IDF). Headlining this focus on mobility is the all-new Bay Trail platform powered by the latest Atom chips. Bay Trail is big news because, most commentators agree, it enables Intel to compete with Qualcomm, ARM, Nvidia and Samsung for the hardware that goes inside the ever-expanding tablet market.

But Bay Trail's silicon flexibility and seemingly impressive performance-per-watt metric means it can be used in other devices, as well. Intel, for example, has already earmarked various Bay Trail incarnations for 2-in-1 laptops/tablets and entry-level notebooks and desktop PCs.

Bay Trail appears to be a great fit for Intel's nascent Next Unit of Computing (NUC) initiative, and the cheaper-to-produce silicon should help drive adoption through lower prices. Intel's made no public announcements on Bay Trail-infused NUCs, but we've managed to ascertain that such devices look set to arrive in Q1 2014.

Currently very much in a planning phase and internally known as Forest Canyon, the NUC DN2810FYK will use the unannounced Celeron N2810 Bay Trail-M chip. Clocked in at up to 2GHz and with the HD Graphics chugging along at 756MHz its specifications resemble an Atom Z3680 from the tablet range. And while Bay Trail SoCs are capable of running without active cooling, which is a must for modern tablets, the relaxed desktop specifications and higher TDP (7.5W TDP, 4.5W SDP) translate to a fan-cooled design for this entry-level desktop.

Bay Trail SoC's integration provides a solid roster of features, from HDMI output to USB 3.0 connectivity. You might expect this NUC to be smaller than the incumbent but this is not the case. Standing at 55mm tall the extra space is devoted to a SATA port (instead of mSATA) for wider storage compatibility.

One of Bay Trail's key selling points is the ability to run either full-fat Windows - no RT here - or Android. Much like the strategy adopted for tablets, Windows 7/8 compatibility comes first and Android later.

We can presume the real purpose of this NUC is to bring it to a wider audience. Intel plans to sell the barebones unit - pre-soldered SoC, board, WiFi, and connectivity - for $139. Given the reasonable levels of performance exhibited by the pre-production tablets, albeit using the best Atom CPU, this NUC appears to have the potential to provide a much-needed boost to the itty-bitty form factor. What do you think? Does a Bay Trail-based NUC make sense, or would you rather see an AMD Temash version instead?



HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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Perhaps predictably, i'm thinking XBMC-HTPC.
I've built a few Rasp Pi-based now (usually OpenElec is my favorite) and they play back adequately, however the in-menu performance of Rasp Pi's leave alot to be desired, especially once you start looking at cool skins.
A 'proper' CPU for the menu, plus a decent storage subsystem (remember that Pi's also have to pull data off an SD card, which cant help) in a device that can still lean on GPU for video playback is very appealing.

The NUC's based on Core CPUs look lovely, but any time I begin to think about a build using one, price just makes it look non-viable.
These look, perhaps, to find a reasonable balance in a device that my parents etc wouldnt think looks "like a computer"
I like the nuc idea. And considering this price this looks good. But still to pricey for what it is :/.
Hey AMD, see this - this is what you could have been doing with Kabini if you weren't still searching for your elbow in a place the dark side of a sphincter.
sykobee
Hey AMD, see this - this is what you could have been doing ....

With their lack of capital and budget? Hardly. Intel can throw money at designing stuff like this because they have money to throw. AMD don't.

OTOH, AMD could have been persuading their partners to build devices like - although the lack of traction that Trinity, Richland and now Kabini/Temash got in the mobile world suggests that AMD can't afford much budget for partner relations either - presuably they've blown that budget on developer relations for the graphics division (which they've actually been doing a very good job at, recently).
scaryjim
With their lack of capital and budget? Hardly. Intel can throw money at designing stuff like this because they have money to throw. AMD don't.

OTOH, AMD could have been persuading their partners to build devices like - although the lack of traction that Trinity, Richland and now Kabini/Temash got in the mobile world suggests that AMD can't afford much budget for partner relations either - presuably they've blown that budget on developer relations for the graphics division (which they've actually been doing a very good job at, recently).

It could also be AMD has its hands full with the production of the chips for two consoles,and the upcoming HD9000 launch.

I get the impression companies are also waiting for Windows 8.1 to release many Jaguar/Kabini/Temash based products.

Having said that I have seen at least 3 to 4 Jaguar and Kabini based laptops in the last month or so in PC World,so they are available,and all at £350 and under.

The Gigabyte Brix does also have a Kabini based version:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7011/computex-2013-kabini-in-a-brix-haswell-too [anandtech.com]

However,the Bay Trail NUC will probably cost £100 to £110 including VAT I suspect,so around £170 to £190 with a 4GB stick of RAM(around £30) and an HDD(£40 to £50). If you add Windows that bumps the price to around £240 to £260.

The thing is that is already the price for prebuilt nettops:

http://www.ebuyer.com/search?sort=price+ascending&cat=433&store=5&cat=433&page=1 [ebuyer.com]

This one costs around £270 and even has Windows and an optical drive too:

http://www.ebuyer.com/500388-acer-revo-rl80-nettop-pc-dt-smbek-009 [ebuyer.com]

It would have been nice,if the NUC was even cheaper,as I suspect Bay Trail CPUs and motherboards are cheaper to make. Remember,the Celeron 887 is a salvage part based on a much larger die,dual channel RAM,additional logic chips on the motherboard and probably a more complex PCB too,plus a bigger cooling system.