In a pivotal development in the compact computing space, Asus has officially taken charge of the Next Unit of Computing (NUC) business from Intel, charting a new course for the future of small-form-factor PCs.
The compact and versatile nature of NUCs has captured the attention of both consumer and enterprise markets. Asus, recognizing the extensive applicability of these devices, has set out to tailor NUC solutions for diverse commercial applications. Jacky Hsu, Senior Vice President at Asus, shared insights regarding plans to formulate custom machines for an array of commercial clients, encompassing embedded, industrial, and application-specific use cases. The spectrum of roles includes digital signage, point-of-sale, cloud, and artificial intelligence, all of which demand unique environmental and operational considerations.
Differentiating itself from existing form factors and I/O options, Asus endeavors to cater to unique customer specifications by manipulating motherboard designs and I/O considerations. These customizations will seek to align NUC devices seamlessly into various operational environments, providing tailored solutions with relevant connections such as Ethernet standards, SFP, D-SUB, Serial, and DIN connections, based on the specific requirements of the application.
A Glimpse into the Gaming NUC Prospects
The gaming realm, known for its continual evolution and demand for higher performance, is also on Asus radar, as the company explores the development of gaming-centric NUCs. With Asus having yet to reveal concrete plans, the general manager of Asus’s NUC business unit, KW Chao, has highlighted that ROG branded NUCs are under consideration.
A potent possibility lies in the adaptation of Intel’s higher-tier Meteor Lake laptop chips, configured to the NUC form factor, which could pave the way for a compact yet powerful gaming rig. Such a configuration would pair a high-performance graphics card with a CPU, which offers performance comparable to a desktop Raptor Lake chip, all within a notably compact form factor. The result could be a compact gaming powerhouse, potentially offering performance that surpasses contemporary gaming consoles.
The journey ahead for Asus in the NUC business landscape is laden with opportunities to not only enhance the utility and performance of mini PCs but also to redefine their application in both consumer and commercial environments. Should the business unit flourish and significant clients come on board, the possibility of witnessing the advent of ROG NUCs in the foreseeable future becomes palpably exciting.