Intel’s NUC Compute Element vs. Raspberry Pi Compute Module: Which is better?


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Modular computing options have gotten more and more well-liked, with Intel unveiling the 15W U-Sequence at Computex 2019.

Intel and AMD announce new CPUs at Computex 2019
Intel and AMD offered new processors that may make their means into upcoming computer systems. Karen Roby and James Sanders talk about the following era of CPUs.

At Computex 2019 in Taiwan this week, Intel unveiled the NUC (Subsequent Unit of Computing) Compute Factor, a modular computing answer that mixes a CPU, RAM, and (a comparatively minimal quantity of) Flash storage on a single board paying homage to a 2.5-inch SATA drive, with edge I/O connectors on the lengthy fringe of the board. One facet of the board is uncovered, with the metallic warmth spreader fitted across the high of the board.

The NUC Compute Factor is “an business commonplace for modular compute using Intel Structure and commonplace compute applied sciences and interfaces,” Intel stated in a press launch, including that “The system incorporates an Intel CPU, reminiscence, connectivity and different parts and is able to powering options like laptops, kiosks, good TVs, home equipment and extra. The Intel NUC Compute Factor delivers unimaginable efficiency and wonderful connectivity at a low value whereas making it straightforward to combine, improve and repair computing in next-generation gadgets.”

SEE: Vendor danger administration: A information for IT leaders (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

That is acquainted territory for Intel, as their earlier Intel Compute Card undertaking was an try and stuff a CPU, RAM, and Flash storage into the scale of roughly six bank cards stacked collectively. The Compute Card was extra of a closed system, because the again of the Compute Card had a connector that allowed it to be plugged right into a dock, which breaks out further USB and Ethernet connectors, in addition to video output. That dock additionally assisted in cooling, as the skinny metallic casing of the cardboard itself was not notably environment friendly at warmth dissipation. Even so, the Compute Card reached such excessive temperatures that it was mandatory to show the system off for a while earlier than dealing with.

4 variants have been unveiled at CES 2017, however little point out of them was made afterward, with the road being discontinued earlier this yr.

NUC Compute Factor: An enterprise-tooled shot at redemption

Whereas the Compute Card envisioned a hot-desking association, by which customers may merely plug their card right into a dock at any arbitrary terminal and get to work, the NUC Compute Factor has a decidedly enterprise and industrial angle to it. Intel showcased the Compute Factor with a pattern laptop computer design from education-focused ODM JP, for which Intel notes that “by creating its design across the compute ingredient, JP is ready to provide a variety of efficiency choices with a single product design, reducing prices and rising its product choices.”

The Compute Factor might be outfitted with 15W U-Sequence CPUs, whereas the sooner Compute Card was restricted to ultra-low energy Y-Sequence CPUs. This can be a modest improve in energy, although the Compute Factor just isn’t a platform tailor-made to CPU-intensive operations. Distant administration shall be attainable on the Compute Factor, as vPro-enabled SKUs are deliberate.

Total, the Compute Factor is a relatively ingenious answer to an issue posed by the miniaturization of electronics—as lower-power Intel CPUs are primarily obtainable just for BGA sockets, requiring a CPU to be soldered on to a board, the power to improve platforms or swap requires changing complete boards, which is usually expensive (if even attainable).

Raspberry Pi Compute Module: How does it evaluate?

The modality of the NUC Compute Factor is kind of just like the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, a variant of the Raspberry Pi that bolts the CPU and RAM onto a SO-DIMM board. Breakout boards can be utilized to offer enlargement ports, making the Compute Module perfect as a field-replaceable CPU.

The Raspberry Pi Compute Module is accessible on the identical (low) value as conventional Raspberry Pi items, making it an reasonably priced and long-lived answer. The Compute Module three+, launched in January, shall be obtainable till at the least January 2026. If the software program you depend upon to your workload might be compiled for the Arm processor powering the Raspberry Pi, the lower-cost answer could also be a greater one to your undertaking. Intel’s NUC Compute Factor—whereas extra highly effective—will undoubtedly value extra, although the corporate is working to decrease manufacturing prices in comparison with the Compute Card.

Notably, NEC makes use of the Raspberry Pi Compute Module for digital signage options utilized in faculties, retailers, airports, and prepare stations. NEC’s Raspberry Pi-powered large-format shows can be found in sizes as much as 98 inches.

For extra, take a look at “Intel and AMD announce new CPUs: Whose received?” and “Contained in the Raspberry Pi: The story of the $35 pc that modified the world” on TechRepublic.

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