Rumor mill: While manufacturers like Razer are trying to extend the NUC concept to a modular gaming PC that can fit inside an eGPU enclosure, Intel is busy working on the next generation of small form factor PCs that are said to hit the market later this year with Tiger Lake CPUs, PCIe 4.0 SSD support, and possibly even laptop-grade Xe GPUs.
The next generation of Intel NUCs - codenamed Panther Canyon and Phantom Canyon - may have been spotted by the folks at FanlessTech. The new series will reportedly replace the current NUC 10 Performance and NUC 10 Extreme, and include a few specs that Intel may not be ready to talk about on official channels.
Interestingly, both new models will come with 28W Tiger Lake U-series CPUs that can be paired up with up to 64GB of dual-channel DDR4-3200 RAM.
This means that both units will come with Intel's Xe integrated graphics, but the company is supposedly not confident enough at this time about its dedicated Xe graphics prototypes to include them in the new NUCs, so it's also exploring 3rd party options from AMD and Nvidia with 6 or 8 GB of VRAM.
In terms of storage, the Panther Canyon lineup will come with a tall case that can accommodate both a PCIe 4.0 x4 NVME SSD and a standard 2.5 inch SSD, as well as a more compact version that can only house the former. Those looking to get a bit more out of their tiny NUC will be able to opt for a combination of a large, inexpensive 2.5 inch SSD and Intel's Optane Memory M10.
The housing on the Phantom Canyon looks similar to the Hades Canyon models, with a host of connectivity options including HDMI 2.0b, Mini DisplayPort 1.4, several USB 3.0 ports, and two Thunderbolt 3 ports. There's also 10/100/1000/2500 Mbps Ethernet, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5 for your networking needs. As is always the case with these small form factor PCs, they don't have an internal power supply, so they'll need a large power brick.
The new SFF PCs are expected to hit the market sometime in the second half of this year, starting with the Panther Canyon NUC.