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Intel Exits NUC Mini PC Business, Vows To Support Ecosystem

Dylan Martin

Intel’s decision to stop making NUC mini PCs is the latest in several business exits the company has made over the past two years to prioritize investments in CEO Pat Gelsinger’s comeback plan, which seeks to make Intel the world’s lead chipmaker again after several years of manufacturing missteps.

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Intel plans to stop making miniature PCs as part of its decision to exit the NUC business, yet another move by the company to divest from ventures not directly related to its core chip-making strategy.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company said on Tuesday that it has decided to “stop direct investment in the Next Unit of Compute (NUC) business” and shift to supporting ecosystem partners who are building their own mini PCs. It added that the move will not impact the “remainder” of the company’s Client Computing Group and Network and Edge Group businesses.

[Related: AMD Hires Ex-IBM Exec As New Global Sales Leader In Commercial Push]

“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,” read an Intel statement to CRN.

The statements largely mirror what Intel told partners in a Monday letter seen by CRN that explained the decision to discontinue NUC products after debuting its first mini PC in 2012.

“At Intel, we evaluate when it is best to do things ourselves, and when it is better to rely on the ecosystem to do it,” the letter started.

Despite spending more than a decade “reinventing” the NUC and shipping more than 10 million mini PCs to date, the company said it determined “it is better to rely on the ecosystem to drive this innovation forward” after “evaluating Intel’s investments.”

Intel’s NUC business consisted of pre-built mini PCs as well as kits, boards and modules that enabled partners to build customized NUCs as well as laptops. More recently, the company expanded its portfolio to include the NUC Compute Element, a modular device consisting of an entire PC that could be slotted into another device, even inside a desktop computer.

The chipmaker mainly marketed NUCs for gaming, edge computing use cases such as digital signage and robotics as well as replacing large desktop computers in business settings.

Intel’s decision to stop making NUCs is the latest in several business exits the company has made over the past two years to prioritize investments in CEO Pat Gelsinger’s comeback plan, which seeks to make Intel the world’s lead chipmaker again after several years of manufacturing missteps.

Learn More: CPUs-GPUs
Dylan Martin

Dylan Martin is a senior editor at CRN covering the semiconductor, PC, mobile device, and IoT beats. He has distinguished his coverage of the semiconductor industry thanks to insightful interviews with CEOs and top executives; scoops and exclusives about product, strategy and personnel changes; and analyses that dig into the why behind the news.   He can be reached at dmartin@thechannelcompany.com.

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