Intel has today announced plans to cease “direct investment” of its Next Unit of Compute (NUC) business. The company wants its partners to continue offering compact desktops to interested parties.
Tom’s Hardware asked Intel for a statement after we learnt of an email sent by Intel to its NUC partners. The email apparently had the following line, as reported by Serve The Home. “Intel has decided to stop direct investment in the Next Unit of Compute (NUC) product line…”
Intel’s official response to our request is as follows.
“We have decided to stop direct investment in the Next Unit of Compute (NUC) Business and pivot our strategy to enable our ecosystem partners to continue NUC innovation and growth,” a statement by Intel reads. “This decision will not impact the remainder of Intel’s Client Computing Group (CCG) or Network and Edge Computing (NEX) businesses. Furthermore, we are working with our partners and customers to ensure a smooth transition and fulfillment of all our current commitments – including ongoing support for NUC products currently in market.”
Intel currently offers three types of NUC systems: typical compact PCs aimed at consumers and home offices, business and corporate-oriented machines with support for features like remote management and vPro, and high-performance machines designed for gamers and demanding users.
Intel’s own NUCs have been popular systems and have competed against similar machines from traditional PC brands. But supporting a broad range of desktops and laptops barebones is somewhat of a burden for Intel, which is primarily a chip company. Furthermore, given shrinking PC market and cut-throat competition, profitability of NUC business probably suffered in the recent quarters.
That said, it is not really surprising that the company wants its partners to continue making compact machines for SOHO market, business users, and enthusiasts while it concentrates on highly profitable chip production.
Under the leadership of its new CEO, Pat Gelsinger, Intel has decided to pull out of several ventures, such as the 3D NAND memory and SSD sector, the Optane SSD division, the notebook modem operations, the Barefoot switching business, and most recently servers. These moves by Intel are parts of a larger efforts to concentrate more intensively on a number of core businesses and, ideally, to increase profitability.