The new range of Intel NUCs, soon to include a Braswell variant, have upgradable lid capability. Yes, you’ll be able to buy different colors but the real attraction is in the data and power headers that have been provided. Intel hope that expansion modules made by third parties will include NFC, wireless charging, enhanced data ports and LTE modules. And why not have a battery pack too? With a USB-powered Displaylink monitor the NUC then becomes a truly mobile solution.
Cosmetic Replaceable Lids are simply shot in different colors or have custom artwork/logos -, without adding features. Functional Replaceable Lids can add features such as more NFC, USB 2.0 ports, VGA, RS232C COM ports, SDXC card reader, 4G/LTE, IoT hub, etc. There is virtually no limit to what can be done with Replaceable Lids.
Headers inside each NUC provide Power (5V out, 12-19V in,) USB 2.0 (x2) and NFC and Intel have even created 3D printing files that you can work with to create your own.
The new Intel NUCs come in three flavors:
- Rock Canyon – NUC5xxRYx (consumer Core. E.g. NUC5i5RYK) [Currently $369 at Amazon – Aff. link.]
- Maple Canyon – NUC5xxMYxE (high end Core. Eg. NUC5i5MYBE)
- Pinnacle Canyon – NUC5CPYH, NUC5PPYH (consumer Braswell / Celeron -based.)
Information on the Braswell-based Pinnacle Canyon is difficult to find right now but we’ve tracked some data down and we expect it to make a popular HTPC choice, especially as it has a Toslink digital audio output (possibly on a header.) There’s also an SD card slot. Like the popular N2820/N2830 NUC there’s also a consumer IR receiver built-in. TDP of the CPU is down and the ‘scenario’ design power is 4W which means there’s a high possibility that it will be fanless. [Ed: My Baytrail-M DN2820FYK has a fan but it’s not loud]
NUC5CPYH, NUC5PPYH specificaitons. (Unconfirmed.)
- Celeron Braswell processor. (N3000, N3050, N3150)
- TDP down to 6W from 7.5W but clock rate also down. GPU performance up.
- 4K support via HDMI
- Ports: HDMI, VGA, SDXC UHS-I, USB3 (x4), LAN
- WiFi and Bluetooth included.
- Consumer IR built-in.
- 2.5” SATA3 SSD/HDD drive bay
- TOSLINK/NFC & Aux Power Hdrs/2.5” drive
- CPU performance will be in the same ballpark as teh existing Baytrail-M models but GPU performance could see a boost. Intel Quick Sync hardware video decoding is built-in.
We’re tracking news on the new NUCs and will bring you an update as soon as we have price and availability for the NUC5CPYH and NUC5PPYH.
In other SFF PC news
Keep an eye out for new ECS Liva models with Core M and Braswell. “The ECS Liva Core, which features an Intel Core M Broadwell processor, and the ECS Liva X², which has a cheaper, lower-performance Intel Braswell chip.” [source: Liliputing.] Note: These are likely to be based on the Intel Mini Lake design. [Source.]
Intel have updated their Compute Stick information page.