Intel’s powerful miniature PCs, called Next Unit of Computing or NUC, will have Tiger Lake-U CPUs in the near future. However, Intel isn’t planning to embed its own Xe GPUs within the Mini-PC anytime soon, indicates a leaked roadmap.
Intel’s Mini-PC lineup is expected to get some new Tiger Lake-U CPUs which are based on the third-generation 10 nm process node. These energy-efficient but powerful CPUs should arrive in quad-core 9 W TDP and 25 W TDP models. Strangely, Intel is still not committed to using its own Xe Graphics architecture. In other words, the upcoming refresh of Intel NUCs will have a third-party graphics solution, hinting at either AMD or NVIDIA dGPUs.
Leaked Intel NUC Roadmap Indicates Powerful New CPUs And 3rd-Party GPUs:
According to a roadmap leaked by @momomo_us, Intel’s Next Unit of Computing will not see many changes in 2021. It appears the company will only add its 10nm Tiger Lake-U CPUs as an upgrade. The NUC platform has been codenamed “Hades Follow On”. It is not clear what happened to previously reported codenames such as Phantom Canyon, which had identical specifications. Surprisingly, the newer roadmap does not include Panther Canyon, which is a slightly lower-end NUC Extreme Series.
Intel’s NUC plans for the years of 2020 and 2021 indicates Ghost Canyon is not set to receive any update till 2022. In other words, the 100W+ NUC Extreme series will not be updated soon. This means Intel NUCs 9 Extreme, based on the 9th Gen Core series, will not see a successor in this year or the next.
The Hades Canyon or the mid-end Intel NUC Extreme platform will receive the Intel Tiger Lake-U CPU refresh. The upgrade is expected to take place before the current year ends. This means the NUC 11 Extreme featuring sub-100W processors will be upgraded. Previous reports indicate Tiger Lake-U the CPU is configurable up to 28W TDP for high performance.
Intel Tiger Lake will succeed Ice Lake CPUs. The CPU die features Willow Cove core design and Gen12 graphics. It is one of the proper architectural upgrades for the high-end NUCs. Although powerful computing devices with high-end components that are exceptionally engineered to fit inside tiny enclosures, the Intel Extreme Series NUCs are still only available with 14nm Skylake-based processors.
Is Intel Not Confident About Its Own Xe Graphics Solutions?
It is important to note that Intel’s Hades Canyon successor will not feature the Xe Graphics architecture. Intel appears to be relying on a “3rd Party Graphics” solution. Given the slight increase in specifications, it is quite likely that Intel might opt for an AMD GPU. Incidentally, Intel has already showcased an Intel-AMD partnership with Vega GL inside the Hades Canyon NUC earlier. But there could also be an NVIDIA GeForce option.
What this clearly indicates is that Intel is not confident about its own Xe Graphics solution. Multiple reports earlier have indicated that the Xe DG1 GPU is the most powerful solution when compared to integrated on onboard graphics, but is slower than even the most entry-level discrete graphics solutions from AMD and NVIDIA.