Intel's Innovation Unleashed provided rather lean pickings for PC enthusiasts and gamers, but it appears to be that the firm provided a brief glance of the Ghost Canyon NUC successor on Sunday. PC World reports that the new Beast Canyon, also known as the 8L Intel NUC 11 Extreme Kit, is "far bulkier," than previous NUCs, and is in essence an SFF PC design.
Unlike previous Extreme NUC designs, the new Beast Canyon can fit full-sized graphics cards. The first high-performance NUC's relied on integrated graphics, and Intel even tapped AMD for its Vega GPU cores back in 2018 (Hades Canyon). Last year's Ghost Canyon NUC used the slot-in Intel Compute Element cards (featuring CPU, RAM, storage, IO), plus smaller graphics cards up to 8-inches long.
The new 8 litre Beast Canyon SFF updates with the latest 11th Gen Intel Core H-series processors, and now allows for much more powerful GPUs (up to 12-inches long, but other max dimensions weren't shared) – however it is quite far removed from the original NUC idea of a Mac Mini like compact PC.
Intel DG2-series graphics card pictured?
YouTuber Moore's Law Is Dead (MLID) has shared pictures of a graphics card which is claimed to one of Intel's DG2-series products. It is based upon the Xe-HPG architecture and possibly codenamed Niagara Falls.
According to MLID the latest 512EU Xe-HPG graphics cards boost up to 2.2GHz, are paired with 16GB of GDDR6 on a 256-bit bus, and have a 235W TDP. Performance of this model is said to be between the GeForce RTX 3070 and RTX 3080 in raster but not yet there with ray tracing. Other info nuggets from the YouTuber are that these GPUs are built by TSMC on N6 or N7P, you are likely to see the first product launches in Q1 2022, and there should be models with 512, 256, and 128 EUs. Intel is highly confident in its leading GPU media encoding performance and still working hard on a DLSS competitor called XeSS.