Promotional images of what appears to be Intel’s next-generation Next Unit of Computing (NUC), the NUC 12, recently made their way online. Not only that, but the new NUC, codenamed Serpent Canyon, will reportedly be the first system to be fitted with the chipmaker’s ARC A770M mobile GPU, which would technically make it the first of all-Intel system of its kind.
First spotted on the Chinese brand, Baidu’s page, the NUC 12 houses a 12th Gen Core i7-127800H CPU, comprising six P-Cores and eight E-Cores, giving the processor a combined total of 14-cores and 20-threads. Moreover, the laptop CPU features 24MB of Cachce and has a boost clock of 4.7GHz. Of course, the main highlight of the upcoming mini PIC is the GPU, which as we mentioned at the start, is the ARC 770M.
The new hardware specifications are, without a doubt, a significant upgrade over Intel’s last generation NUC 11, otherwise known as Phantom Canyon. At launch, Phantom Canyon housed a meagre quad-core Core i7-1165G and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 discrete GPU, which had 6GB GDDR6 graphics memory. In contrast, the new ARC 770M boasts a ACM-G10 processor with 32 Xe-Cores, and a massive 16GB of GDDR6 graphics memory. Interestingly enough, there’s no mention of the GPU’s power draw, but given the official specs sheet, it is likely to be within the realm of 120W and 150W.
Based on the posted images, the NUC 12 also offers a healthy amount of I/O ports. At the back, we’re looking at four USB-A 3.2 ports, a 2.5G LAN port, a USB-C port that undoubtedly supports Thunderbolt 4, and the usual fare of DisplayPort and HDMI ports. Around the front, the NUC 12 seems to have a couple more USB-A ports, another USB-C port, and what appears to be a microSDXC card slot. Oh, and there’s a 3.5mm audio jack as well.
Bear in mind, Intel is also offering a more powerful version of the NUC 12: The NUC 12 Extreme, otherwise known as Dragon Canyon. Compared to the mini PC, this model features a full-fat desktop LGA1700 socket that supports up to a 16-core Core i9-12900 CPU, as well as the ability to support a bigger, more powerful desktop graphics card.
The only thing missing from the equation right now, is the pricing and availability of the NUC 12. The official page on Baidu says that the system will be available soon, but doesn’t provide an official release date. Further, given Intel’s current mandate that its ARC GPUs will be launching in China first and nowhere else, it is highly unlikely that we will be seeing the system appearing in other markets anytime soon.