AMD’s answer to Intel’s NUC line of tiny desktop computers is here. But unlike Intel, AMD has no plans to make its own computers. Instead, the company is partnering with PC makers to create an ecosystem for Mini PCs with AMD Ryzen Embedded processors.
We’ve already seen a handful of mini PCs with Ryzen Embedded chips in the last few months. The new partnership means that we should see more in the coming months and years… and it also means we could see improved support for peripherals, additional security features. and more.
Among other things, AMD promises that each Ryzen Embedded chip selected for the ecosystem will be available for at least five years, which gives PC makers some assurance that they can keep building around a chipset for some time to come.
AMD says the systems can “run software for machine vision, object detection, edge interference, and analytics from AMD software ecosystem partners” and support open source software including Radeon Open Compute and OpenCL.
Mini PCs are an interesting product category — many small computers are designed for business, enterprise, retail, or industrial applications such as digital signage, point-of-sales systems, or other applications where a full-sized PC may not be necessary or desirable.
But little computers also have a following among home users looking for a low-profile media center PC, office workers who want to maximize their desk space, or folks who want to build a sort of DIY all-in-one PC by connecting a mini PC to the back of a monitor with a VESA mount.
Intel’s NUC line of computers hasn’t exactly had this space to itself in recent years. Other PC makers including Gigabyte, Zotac, MSI, and ASrock are just a few of the companies that have offered their own mini PCs. But most current-gen models are powered by Intel processors.
It’s unclear if AMD’s efforts will make much of a dent in the space. But the company notes that there are already a few Ryzen Embedded mini PCs available, including: