Intel has introduced its first tiny desktop computer to use passive cooling. The Intel NUC DE3815TYKHE measures 7.5″ x 4.6″ x 1.6″ and uses a combination of low-power components and passive heat dissipation so that it doesn’t require any fans.

The system isn’t exactly a high-performance PC. It’s powered by a single-core Intel Atom Bay Trail processor and it’s aimed at enterprise solutions such as thin client systems or digital signage rather than home use.

But folks who prefer low-power, quiet solutions over bleeding edge performance might be able to make do. The mini-computer officially supports Windows 8 Embedded, Windows 7 Embedded, and Linux, but it has an x86 processor that should work with most modern operating systems.

ntel NUC DE3815TYKHE

The Intel NUC DE3815TYKHE features a 1.46 GHz Intel Atom E3815 processor with 5W TDP. It can handle up to 8GB of RAM, has 4GB of eMMC storage and support for a 2.5 inch hard drive or solid state drive.

The system has 1 USB 3.0 port, 2 USB 2.0 ports, and 3 internal USB 2.0 ports. It has HDMI and VGA ports, DisplayPort, and Gigabit Ethernet. There are also antennas for an optional wireless card.

This isn’t the first Intel NUC mini-computer to feature a Bay Trail processor. But earlier models featured active cooling systems with fans and more powerful chips aimed at both business and consumer markets.

via Fanless Tech


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22 replies on “Intel launches a fanless, Bay Trail NUC mini-computer”

  1. I wish the Tranquil PC fanless cases weren’t so bleeding expensive (~$200 shipped). They’ve definitely proven a decent case can overcome most of the NUC’s failings in heat management, even for Core variants (save the whole WiFi + SSD overheating nonsense due to Intel’s own WiFi cards)…

    If only Intel just mass-produced a decent fanless case like that, it wouldn’t just be limited to the Bay Trail option… ah well, the NUC’s fan noise isn’t all that prominent when idle, I guess.

    1. Great cases and fabulous looks. The NUC case reminds me of a NAD amplifier.

  2. People have been building small, fan-less computers with i7 and i5 CPUs.

    And all Intel can manage is a single core atom? So, they made it 30% smaller and 70% more useless…

    So you say its just for industrial use? Well, small fan-less embedded computers have been around for ages, in varying small sizes and processing capabilities. So this gives smaller companies a pre-fab box.Ok.

    With eight core phones around, the size of this box is still underwhelming.

    1. Those 8-core phones can cost ~$600, missing things for the target use of this device and have higher sale volumes. They’re just not comparable. This will likely cost less but the same or more than the faster actively cooled Bay Trail NUC. Other companies that offer industrial SBCs sell them for $100-$300+ depending on the quantity ordered. A lot of and different design and testing go on compared to consumer devices and companies aren’t going to eat the cost. I have both mini (pico-ITX, nano-ITX and 3.5″ form factors) ARM and x86 SBCs meant for industrial use and they cost $300+ without a case (some require separate RAM, storage and PSU). None of them have more than 2 cores.

      Those people slapping together fanless Core i PCs are using consumer grade parts and just putting a fanless heatsink on them which isn’t a good idea. Often times those boards are designed to be used with CPU fans to cool the components around the CPU. If used in an industrial setting, they’ll likely see higher than normal failure rates.

      If Intel came out with a consumer device with the slowest single core Bay Trail T and sold it for the same price as their Core i NUCs then, yes, it would be very underwhelming but that is a completely different market.

      1. People don’t really need Intel for this. Everybody and his brother is making tiny and very capable ARM boards for every application imaginable that are very cheap in quantity.

  3. The NUC’s have always been kind of mystifyingly expensive, being that they are bare bones computers. $3-400 with no OS, RAM or mass storage. You are paying for it being so very small, and for the Intel sticker. In most cases you’d be better off with a small laptop that’s ready to go, or some netbox. I have a Revo from Acer which is a bit bigger true but was pretty much a steal compared to this.

    I guess if you really really need a little box you can hang on the back of a monitor . . .

  4. As a consumer, $100 would really be the upper limit I’d spend on this. The Bay Trail NUC isn’t much more than that, and would be significantly faster (and can be made “fanless” in the bios anyway)

  5. 1.46 GHz what do you do with it? Can it be used as a media computer? Not sure it can decompress a 4K stream (which is coming soon). Do they give any guidance as to what this box can handle? Seems way under powered for anything but web surfing and even then I am not sure it can decode web video fast enough for smooth playback. And to make it work you need to stick in a 80 of ram ?

    1. I wouldn’t buy this for home use. The extra cost of making an industrial targetted computer would be wasted in most home use scenarios unless you really want a fanless box. Although, it may be cheaper or cost the same to get a more powerful consumer targetted mini-board (ie. non-embedded version of a NUC board) and use a fanless heatsink/case. Of course, that requires extra work to look for and put together the parts which should be included as part of the “cost”.

      Personally, I really hope these standalone mini-PCs will get popular enough so PC part makers will try to get in on it. For example, a consumer oriented pico-ITX Bay Trail board from ASUS, GIGABYTE, ASRock, etc. with a DC in for power, a pico-ITX heatsink/case from another company and a standard AC to DC power brick. Plus the usual other parts: RAM, storage (mSATA, M.2, SD card, etc.), WiFi module, etc. Too bad, right now, all the pico/nano-ITX boards I’ve seen are all targetting embedded and industrial use and are thus very expensive. Also, you need to make your own case for them which adds even more cost.

  6. Oof. This hurts my head. So many things wrong here. What the heck are they going to price this at? The most I’d even THINK of paying would be $40-$50, and even then… geez. 🙁

    1. Clearly you’re not the target market for this model… but yeah, it’d be nice if there was a fanless consumer-centric model as well.

    2. Nah I could easily see paying 100 to maybe even 125 for this. 64bit and expandable with real sata port.

    3. If you understand the requirements of the embedded/industrial market then your head won’t hurt. Buying bare boards with chips targetting embedded/industrial use can be $200+ and that’s without any memory, storage and a case.

      Your comment is like those who made fun of the last Mars rover saying how their smartphone is several times more powerful and only cost them a few hundred bucks instead of billions. They really just don’t know what they’re talking about.

      1. Ok fine, educate me: As I understand it, the z3740 in my t100 has a lower/equivalent TDP, is quad core, easily cooled passively, and costs almost the same (tray price). Functional operating temps are probably going to be about the same, and they’re both in the Bay Trail family (as opposed to Avoton or Rangeley, etc) so their architectures can’t be that different(?)… so what other criteria do you have to say that this makes sense? I’m not being flip, I really want to know. How is this SKU so different? What is it good for, when compared to the multitude of other, very similar, BayTrail SKUs? Seriously, illuminate that for me!

        1. You don’t need to know the reasons for the difference in cost between
          consumer and industrial devices. You’re not going to buy them and
          they’re not targetted towards you anyway.

        2. Bay Trail T SoCs like the Z3740 are specifically designed and optimized for mobile usage in consumer range tablet devices…

          But Bay Trail I SoCs like the E3815 are specifically for embedded devices for industrial applications… including efficient imaging workflows, digital signage with secure content delivery and interactive kiosks, intelligent vending, ATM, and point-of-sale (POS) terminals… Other target scenarios will likely include portable medical devices, industrial control systems, and in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems.

          The Bay Trail I SoCs also offers interoperability with Intel’s Quark SoCs for custom solutions that companies can tailor to their specific needs…

          1. Totally in line with your post. I have testing underway for digital signage and POS terminals with the E3815. In this particular case, with the 4GB onboard flash, we don’t even have the need for additional storage by using Linutop or Openelec lightweight OS and SW, which definitely makes it a compelling solution from a price point of view.
            Apologies for joining a 5 month old discussion, stumbled on it while looking for other industrial field feedback.

    4. Just look at the fanless cases for NUC boards. The ones that are actually worth buying can cost almost as much as the NUC board. Plus, especially for standalone devices, the extra costs of testing and designing for more extreme conditions and using higher rated components other than just the SoC will be passed onto the customer.

      Think of the Panasonic toughbooks and regular notebooks or even business rugged notebooks. They all perform the same (well, the toughbook might even be slower) but the costs to the customer vary in the thousands of dollars.

      1. Even the good fanless cases can’t account for cooling the other components on the board. Boards not designed for fanless operation often rely on the airflow created by the CPU fan to cool other board components. Slapping a fanless heatsink on the CPU can cause early board failures. Of course, YMMV and some will claim this isn’t an issue solely based on anecdotal evidence.

        There definitely are extra costs involved when designing a fanless industrial targeted PC. It just makes me laugh at those “too expensive for what you get” type of comments for these and other devices (ie. shrinking form factors, flight qualified devices, etc.). I put them in the same category as those who walk in a store say “I want the one with the more geebees and hurtz.”

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