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Intel launches fanless, Apollo Lake based NUC mini-PC and SBC

Sep 16, 2019 — by Eric Brown 4,818 views

Intel has posted specs for a previously tipped “NUC 8 Rugged” mini-PC and 3.5-inch baseboard. The fanless NUC runs Linux or Windows on an Apollo Lake Celeron with soldered 4GB RAM and 64GB eMMC, M.2 for NVMe, and dual HDMI ports.

Most of Intel’s NUC (Next Unit of Computing) mini-PCs are fan-cooled models with Intel Core processors, such as last year’s 8th Gen “Coffee Lake” based Bean Canyon NUCs. Now, several vendors have opened pre-orders for as low as $248 for a fanless, 150 x 108 x 32mm Intel NUC 8 Rugged model aimed at embedded applications.

NUC 8 Rugged NUC8CCHKR kit (left) and NUC8CCHB baseboard
(click image to enlarge)

The NUC 8 Rugged, code-named Chaco Canyon, was revealed last week on Koolshare and picked up by FanlessTech and others. Since then, Intel has posted specs for both the full NUC8CCHKR mini-PC kit, which is due to ship by the end of the month, as well as an upcoming NUC8CCHB baseboard-only SKU with a 3.5-inch form factor. The products are aimed at applications including digital signage, medical and retail, IoT, and edge analytics.

Due to ship by the end of the month, the mini-PC runs on a low-power (6W TDP) dual-core, 1.1GHz/2.4GHz Celeron N3350 from Intel’s Apollo Lake generation. It’s available with various Windows 10 flavors for extra-cost or you can load a Linux distro to the bare-bone model. (Android support is “TBD.”)

NUC 8 Rugged, front and back
(click image to enlarge)

Considering the commercial 0 to 40°C operating range, the “rugged” nomenclature appears to refer primarily to the fact that the mini-PC’s 4GB LPDDR3 and 64GB eMMC are soldered down for greater reliability. There’s also a fanless, ventless design for minimizing particle intrusion, a wide-range 12-24V DC input (both jack and internal header) with transient voltage suppression, delayed AC start, and compliance with various EMC/RF standards. The systems offers hardware monitoring and ACPI power management and “is built to last and qualified for 24×7 sustained operations,” says Intel.


The NUC 8 Rugged features an M.2 M-key 2280 slot for PCIe x4 based NVMe or SATA SSDs. There’s a GbE port, as well as an M.2-based Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168 module with 802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2, and internal antennas. Punchouts are available for adding external antennas.

The system is equipped with HDMI 2.0a and HDMI 1.4 ports with CEC and EDID support. The HDMI 2.0a port supports up to 3840 x 2160-pixel display resolution and 7.1 multi-channel digital audio. There’s also an analog audio jack and an internal 4-lane eDP display connector.

NUC 8 Rugged with baseboard (left) and detail view
(click images to enlarge)

There’s support for eight USB connections overall, with front and back USB 3.0 ports, dual rear USB 2.0 ports, and additional headers (1x 3.0, 2x 2.0). You also get an internal RS-232 interface, a front-panel header, and support for a Kensington Lock. Four mounting options are available, including DIN-rail and VESA.

The NUC 8 Rugged provides a front panel expansion bay, which is probably mini-PC or M.2 based. The SimplyNUC pre-order page, which is so far the most detailed, offers various port expansion kits for GbE, USB, and serial expansion. Other SimplyNUC options include M.2 and SATA storage, HDMI cables, USB-to-DDI display adapters, and more.

The 146 x 102mm baseboard model adds a 19VDC, 65W power adapter. Like the mini-PC kit, it offers a 3-year warranty.

Further information

Intel’s NUC 8 Rugged mini-PC kit (NUC8CCHKR) will ship in the third quarter, says Intel. The kit is available for pre-sale at various locations including TigerDirect, starting at a low of $248 plus $10 shipping, and Connection ($274.81). The most detailed specs are found at SimplyNUC, which sells it for 245 UK Pounds ($304).

Intel, which lists a $198 recommended user price, has posted full specs in its
NUC 8 Rugged product brief (PDF) and its Ark page. No pricing or availability info was listed for the NUC8CCHB baseboard-only model.

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2 responses to “Intel launches fanless, Apollo Lake based NUC mini-PC and SBC”

  1. Fretzke says:

    „The system appears to be the first Atom-class NUC since Intel’s Bay Trail-based, mini-tower form-factor DE3815TYKHE NUC Kit, which launched in 2014.“

    What about the NUC Kit NUC7PJYH and NUC7CJYH released last year? They run on the more modern Gemini Lake so don’t you have to consider them Atom based as well?

    Previously there were the Braswell based NUC5CPYH and NUC5PPYH in 2016, and the NUC6CAYH with Apollo Lake Celeron J3455 in 2017. It sure doesn’t look like a 5 year gap for Atom based PCs to me. On the downside all of the above need active cooling. But the bottom line is, a comparable hardware was already available two years ago. And I’m surprised how Intel still not completely moved to the current Gemini Lake architecture, two years after it’s introduction.

  2. Jeff Child says:

    Thank you for your comment.
    The story has been updated.

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