First Details of Coming Apollo Lake and Kaby Lake NUCs Emerge

FanlessTech has done it again, and published partial specifications of the coming Apollo Lake and Kaby Lake NUCs.

Apollo Lake NUC

Apollo Lake will replace the Braswell in the lower end of Intel NUCs. Bay Trail and Braswell NUCs both hit the shelves in June, but it seems Apollo Lake will not follow this same cycle. I’d expect to see the first units in Q4/2016. The product code for the Apollo Lake NUC will be NUC6CAYH. There will also be a “fully equipped unit” available with Windows 10, 2GB RAM and 32GB eMMC storage with product code NUC6CAYS. Arches Canyon

Some highlights include:

  • 10W quad-core CPU (no chance of fanless option)
  • DDR3L-1866 RAM, dual-channel (a bit surprisingly no DDR4 option)
  • Full size HDMI 2.0 connector with [email protected] support
  • No USB Type C connectors
  • All the familiar NUC features: front and read USB3 ports, infrared receiver, 2.5″ SATA slot, 802.11ac WiFi, Gigabit Ethernet, SDXC card reader

Kaby Lake NUC

Kaby Lake will be the seventh generation of Intel’s Core processors. There will be i3, i5 and i7 versions of the Kaby Lake NUC. i3 and i5 CPUs will be 15W TDP and the i7 will be 28W TDP. The i7 version won’t be replacing the recent Skull Canyon NUC and I expect the performance of the Baby Canyon i7 to be lower than the Skull Canyon NUC. The i3 and i5 will be available in a compact case without a 2.5″ SATA slot also, but the i7 will only be available in a higher case with the SATA slot. If the FanlessTech specs are correct, Intel has made the SATA slot 2 mm narrower, dropping support for 11.5 mm thick SATA drives. Baby Canyon

Kaby Lake NUCs are expected to arrive early next year.

Some highlights include:

  • 15W (i3 and i5) or 28W (i7) dual-core CPU (no chance of fanless option)
  • DDR4L-2133 RAM, dual-channel
  • Full size HDMI 2.0 connector with [email protected] support
  • ThunderBolt 3, USB 3.1 and DisplayPort via single USB Type C connector
  • MicroSDXC card reader instead of full size SDXC
  • All the familiar NUC features: front and read USB3 ports, infrared receiver, 802.11ac WiFi, Gigabit Ethernet, M.2 slot with NVME support

Product codes will be NUC7i3BNK, NUC7i3BNH, NUC7i5BNK, NUC7i5BNH and NUC7i7BNH.

25 Responses

  1. I will be hanging on to my Skull Canyon through these. Although I do have one issue that remains with it, I am happy enough to keep using.

  2. Pawel says:

    Disappointing is UHS-I only. Also Kabe Lake NUCs will have micro sdxc card reader not the bigger sdxc card reader.

    • Olli says:

      Thanks Pawel, you’re right – it’s MicroSDXC indeed. Updated the article to reflect that.

      • Pawel says:

        Another thing found @anandtech in comments section: what are these wholes in front? It’s not in Slylake… Maybe it is built-in stereo mic?

        Ps. Having NUC5PPYH @Braswell N3700 I think the (upgrade) path Intel should choose is hi-performance soldered flash. It can be 256GB but must be insanely fast to convince me to buy next model.
        M.2 is out of question due to potential problem with heat. But soldered flash can have radiator glued to it.
        In hi-end models they could add 10GBe for example.

  3. John says:

    Will the apollo lake GPU be able to decode 10bit x265 files? Really disappointed that my nuc6i5 can’t.

    • ed says:

      Likely not, as Intel keeps the GPUs on the low power chips one generation behind, so Apollo Lake should have Skylake’s decoding capabilities. That being said, Intel IS including HDMI 2.0, which generally wasn’t included with Skylake, so maybe they bumped up the video processing capabilities too. HDMI 2.0 without full hardware decode of Main10 HEVC seems like a dumb decision.

      • Olli says:

        Actually Braswell had full HEVC decoding (8-bit only though) about half a year before the Core series had it (Skylake). I expect Apollo lake to decode 10-bit HEVC.

        • It’s not the GPU that handles decoding. This is done by the CPU itself and Apollo Lake will decode 10bit. Bit unsure if they will support Hi10P though.

          • nucblognet says:

            Well, it’s a bit hard to separate the GPU and CPU since they’re both on the same chip. Personally I’m not sure if you’re actually correct. Would the Intel Celeron 3855U (Skylake CPU without GPU) be able to HW decode 8-bit HEVC?

            At least in case of a discrete GPU it’s often the GPU that takes care of the decoding – My Haswell desktop with Nvidia GTX960 HW decodes HEVC in the GPU for example.

            What do you mean with Hi10P support?

            There’s no profile “Hi10P” for HEVC as there was for H.264.

            Hi10P for H.264 was a profile that enabled 10-bit bit depth with standard 4:2:0 chroma. Main 10 profile for HEVC enables 10-bit, but not sure if there are other features in HEVC outside the Main 10 profile that the Anime folks will want to use…

  4. Mariano Ruiz says:

    I dont think we will miss any big performance increase if we buy right now a 15W or Skull Canyon NUC, the thunderbolt 3 is really nice tho.
    Olli have you tried to compare the HD 580 with the Iris 6200? I have not seen any direct comparison in gaming, right now you can buy a Gigabyte Brix with a i5 5575R and the Iris 6200 in the U.S. for around $350. How would you think it will compare with the 6th Gen NUCs in gaming?

  5. Kant Lake will support 10bit HEVC VP9. And hopefully the hdmi 2.0 will be HDR compatible and native. Not like the skull canyon that has a displayport to hdmi chip onboard.

  6. Dino says:

    In the pic are shown two different specifications:USB 3.1 Gen2 (10Gbps) and just after USB 3.1 Gen1 (5Gbps): mistake??

    To what use are multi color front led?

  7. So, from what I can read out of the Kaby Lake annoucement today there will be NO native HDMI 2.0/HDCP2.2 on the Kaby Lake NUCs:
    That is a disappointment. But atlease the HEVC 10-bit support is there.

  8. Chumara says:

    So when the i5 version comes out, will you do a performance comparison against thr current 6th gen?

    • nucblognet says:

      Hello Chumara,

      Certainly! I plan to do the comparison between the i3 and the i5 as well as against the Skylake generation of NUCs.

  9. spaceKL says:

    Hi nucblognet.

    Possible to test Plex Media Play Generic 64-bit x86 System (x86_64) – Version as well?

    I´m waiting for the new i5 NUC incl. HDMI 2.0a, HDR Playout (@BlaBlaBla THX) and HEVC 10bit enc. and dec. functions to install the “beast” in my HomeCinema

    Libreelec would be great as well.

    I know, the i5-version is too much for a simple HTPC workstadion.

    But I would like to play GTA5 and CS:GO as well. ;-)

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