Not many cats have been let out of the bag that is Intel's upcoming Skylake line up of chips, but everyone is expecting them to be much more energy efficient and released in the fall of this year. Something else that is now expected, is for Intel to really push its smallest of form factors, the Next Unit Computing (NUC) systems and Compute Sticks, both of which are said to have Skylake versions in the works for a similar release date.
This is because despite an overall drop off in PC sales over the past year, the areas which have seen steady growth include both miniature systems. According to DigiTimes, Intel is looking to cash in on that by not only producing its own branded products, but by aiding partner manufacturers like Gigabyte, Asustek, ASRock and Elite Computer Systems to do the same, using new Skylake hardware.
Rumored specifications for the Compute Sticks include the new super-low-power Core m3 and m5 CPUs, as well as 4GB of memory, 64GB of on board storage and support for UHD resolutions. If correct, this would be a huge upgrade. The first model, which we've reviewed, was among the slowest PCs we've tested over the last five years.
Skylake chips for NUC devices are also said to be in development, with a release date set for sometime in November. It's expected that, as with past NUC models, the processors will be mobile chips designed for laptop form-factors.
This big drive for hardware is something that a lot of companies will be doing in the wake of Windows 10's release, as it is expected to trigger a flurry of new buys, even though Microsoft is offering free upgrades for Windows 7 and 8.1 users. Since most people taking up on the update will be laptop and desktop users, perhaps it makes sense for Intel to put so much focus into the small form factor standards.