AMD announces mini PC solutions to compete with Intel's NUC models
AMD’s ZEN architecture has allowed the red team to see steady market share gains in the desktop PC and server segments for the past few years now. Due to Intel’s unfortunate 14 nm CPU shortages and the success of the Ryzen 3000-series, AMD’s laptop market share has also been spiking this year, and it looks like AMD may further leverage the scalability of its 2018 Zen+ architecture to take on Intel’s NUC mini PC sector.
The new mini PC ecosystem that AMD wants to create will be based on its V1000 and R1000 CPUs. However, instead of creating special small form-factor motherboards and selling them to third party integrators like Intel does with its NUC systems, AMD will let its partners come up with their own motherboard designs. The list of AMD partners that are already providing Ryzen-based SFF systems includes ASRock, Simply NUC, EEPD, Onlogic, and more integrators are expected to join throughout 2020. In order to ensure maximum compatibility, AMD’s partners must provide FP5 BGA motherboards, so upgradability is not an option here, since the CPUs will be soldered.
For budget users, AMD will provide the R1505G and R1606G dual-core / quad-thread CPUs with Vega 3 iGPUs and TDPs as low as 6 W, while the more advanced V1000 processors offer 4 cores / 8 threads, Vega 3 iGPUs and TDPs up to 54 W for higher core clocks. AMD also plans to release 7 nm embedded CPUs with more powerful Navi iGPUs in 2020.
It will be interesting to see if AMD would be interested to explore modular designs for increased upgradeability, seeing that Intel is already offering the Compute Element modules. The upcoming 7 nm CPU options scheduled for 2020 should also make AMD’s Mini PCs more appealing to budget gamers.