Intel is readying a series of next-generation NUCs known as Phantom Canyon which would be featuring Tiger Lake CPUs and Xe GPUs. The latest NUCs are detailed by FanlessTech who have reported the full specifications of the upcoming NUC 11 designs.
Intel Phantom Canyon NUC 11 Powered By 10nm+ Tiger Lake CPUs And Xe GPUs, Launching in 2H 2020
According to the details, there will be two Phantom Canyon NUCs, the Phantom Canyon NUC 11 Extreme and the Panther Canyon NUC 11 Performance. Both NUCs will offer very different case designs with the performance variant more targeted towards mainstream users while the extreme variant would be targetting enthusiast users who want the best performance in a small form factor PC.
Intel Phantom Canyon NUC 11 Extreme
The Phantom Canyon NUC 11 extreme would be powered by Intel's Tiger Lake-U 28W processors. The processors featured on the NUC would either be Core i7 or Core i5 variants but while they will rock an integrated Xe GPU, there would also be a discrete graphics option. The specifics of the GPU are not known but it is mentioned to be 3rd party, featuring 6 or 8 GB graphics memory. It is likely that Intel would put their own discrete graphics based on the Xe graphics architecture which would allow for far superior performance than the integrated gpu. You can configure the NUC 11 Extreme with up to 64 GB of DDR4-3200 SODIMMs. There are dual M.2 slots (1x 22x80/110 & 1x 22x80) and a PCIe x4 Gen 3 NVMe port.
Other details include a very futuristic design with the iconic 'SKULL' logo which lights up with LEDs. You can put the NUC in either tabletop or tower formation and either of them looks cool. It shares a design to its predecessors, the Skull Canyon and the Hades Canyon, both of which rocked a 45W CPU. I/O on the NUC 11 Extreme would include HDMI 2.0b, Mini DisplayPort, front and rear sided Thunderbolt 3 ports, Intel 2.5 Gbps LAN, Intel Wireless-AX 201, IEEE 802.11ax, WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0.
Intel Panther Canyon NUC 11 Performance
The NUC 11 performance would also be featuring 28W Tiger Lake-U CPUs with SKUs ranging from Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 variants. The Intel Xe graphics chip onboard these CPUs would power the graphics side and there won't be any discrete graphics option like the Extreme variant. Like the Extreme variant, the I/O would be practically the same with the only difference being the standard NUC box design.
The Tiger Lake generation of processors comes after Intel's 10nm Ice Lake generation. Tiger Lake CPUs would be using a more advanced 10nm+ process node and improved architecture design. While Willow Cove cores used on the Tiger Lake CPUs would have all the underlying technologies featured on Sunny Cove based processors, they would also feature cache redesigns, transistor optimizations and enhanced security features to deliver much better performance and clocks than 10nm processors.
Also, it's worth noting that previous Intel slides hinted at Phantom Canyon NUCs to feature PCIe Gen 4.0 support but only the Panther NUC 11 would be getting support for Gen 4.0 NVMe while Phantom Canyon would continue supporting the Gen 3.0 protocol.
Both NUCs are stated to be available later this year and would definitely be a nice addition to your home streaming setup or just if you are in the market for a small form factor PC, rocking some pretty cool specifications.