Intel’s Newest NUC, Swift Canyon, Smiles for the Camera at IDF

Kingston has proved an unlikely source of information for Intel's upcoming Skylake update to their NUC platform. Legit Reviews was on hand at IDF to take some great photos of the diminutive (and increasingly more powerful) PC.

Swift Canyon NUC
Swift Canyon NUC
Swift Canyon NUC
Swift Canyon NUC
Swift Canyon NUC

Swift Canyon could be a viable tiny compute architecture for many, bringing DDR4 to the wee PC's.

In May we showed you Intel's roadmap that described their update to to the NUC platform. The roadmap described unspecified Skylake-U platforms that were to be released Q3 of 2015. You can have up to 32GB dual channel DDR4, which is good for around 56,000 mb/s in bandwidth (at the base 2133MHz). Not quite released yet, but we have a little more information about the veritable 4"x4" PC from an unlikely source, the Kingston booth at IDF.

Specifically they were showing off their PCIE based Predator M.2 SSD and Impact series of DDR4 SO-DIMM's that have the potential of running beyond the lowest spec. Thankfully they were using the Skylake-U NUC to show off their newest products. They also had on hand a working NVMe enabled SSD prototype and a DDR4 kit running at 3200MHz.

From the pictures we can see that the form factor is the same with the board being a dual-sided design. The soldered CPU is on the bottom with access to storage and I/O on the top. There are a total of four USB 3.0 ports, a mini-DisplayPort 1.2, Gigabit LAN, and an HDMI 1.4a connector, very similar to the previous Broadwell offerings and certainly more than enough for who it's marketed towards. Apparently, Legit Reviews also noted an internal USB 2.0 header on the bottom, so more ports could be added via an appropriate chassis.

The NUC form-factor has taken off in ways that were probably not even initially predictable by Intel themselves. The small form factor is obviously not for the hardcore gamer looking for the fastest in technology, though a few examples exist of respectable attempts, but it's appealing to many different sectors of business for many reasons.

Haswell with Iris Pro graphics (that tasty eDRAM) did end up being released to AIB's for use in their own designs and was received very well, so it's possible we'll see the same with Skylake, if not even a first party solution featuring the newest iteration of Iris Pro. Despite naysayers, Iris Pro 5200 did make for a strangely effective low end solution on its own for gaming. Even if not used strictly for gaming, the increased OpenCL performance could be appreciated in other business sectors.

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