Intel recently announced that it will stop direct investment in the NUC mini computer business, and has reached a NUC cooperation agreement with ASUS, under which ASUS will obtain a non-exclusive license for Intel’s NUC system product line design, enabling it to manufacture and sell 10 Generation up to the 13th generation of NUC system products and continue to develop future products.
According to information provided by an Intel spokesperson to foreign media CRN on Wednesday, the company may license its NUC mini computer design to other companies in the future, but there are currently no plans. “A non-exclusive license means that Intel retains ownership of the technology and may license it to others. Currently, Intel has no plans to license the NUC system design to other companies. However, Intel will continue to support and enable our customers’ own mini PCs design.”
The spokesperson said that Intel expects to reach a final agreement on the NUC licensing agreement with Asus next month, and the two companies are currently working on plans to facilitate a smooth transition for NUC customers.
This could happen if Asus only licenses certain NUC designs to fill gaps in its existing mini PC portfolio, which is focused on industrial IoT use cases, a distribution executive told the media.
“Maybe Asus doesn’t want to try the rest of the NUC lineup,” said Kent Tibbils, vice president of marketing at Fremont, California-based ASI.
In addition, it is unclear whether Intel employees in the NUC business unit will jump ship to Asus’ newly created NUC division, because Intel declined to comment on the matter.
However, in the past week, several Intel NUC employees have posted on LinkedIn that they lost their jobs. Some of them blamed their departure on the exit of the company’s NUC business. Affected employees include marketing, product management, data science, software engineering and business management.
According to previous reports, Intel has been aggressively cutting costs. Since announcing plans to cut billions of dollars in spending by 2025 last fall, it has decided to exit a number of non-core businesses, including NUC.