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Definition: NUC

(Next Unit of Computing) A bare bones mini PC from Intel, introduced in 2012. The NUC includes the case, power supply and 4x4" motherboard. Commonly used for gaming or as a home theater PC (HTPC), it is small enough to be hidden behind the TV. The user adds RAM, storage and peripherals to make a complete computer.

The Compute Element
In 2020, the NUC line was made more modular and upgradable with the introduction of the Compute Element modules that plug into a compatible chassis. See mini PC and HTPC.

Intel Mini PCs
The various models of the NUC are differentiated by Intel CPU and ports. (Image courtesy of Intel Corporation.)

Next Generation - The Compute Element
In 2020, Intel introduced its line of Compute Element modules. Available with different CPUs and looking like a fat video card, the Compute Element contains the motherboard, CPU, memory, I/O ports and PCI Express for storage. It plugs into the backplane of a Compute Element chassis. (Image courtesy of PCMag.com.)