Asustek Computer Inc (華碩) yesterday signed an agreement with Intel Corp to take over the US chip giant’s compact computer business, dubbed the “next unit of computing” (NUC), allowing Asustek to design, manufacture and sell Intel’s 10th to 13th-generation NUC product lines.
Asustek has created a new NUC business unit to develop future generations of NUC products and to handle Intel’s NUC clients, mostly PC vendors, Asustek said. Asustek plans to combine its existing mini-PC business with the new NUC unit, leading to a further workforce expansion to about 160 engineers at present.
Based on the agreement, Asustek does not own the exclusive right to develop and sell Intel’s NUC products. However, Asustek would have access to Intel’s NUC-related intellectual property, which is not available to other vendors of mini-PCs based on Intel’s NUC platform, the company said.
“Our established technical expertise and consistent track record in delivering industry-leading mini-PCs to customers position us perfectly to spearhead innovation and drive further growth in NUC system products,” Asustek chairman Jonney Shih (施崇棠) told a news conference in Taipei yesterday.
“I am confident that this collaboration will enhance and accelerate our vision for the mini-PC and will extend Asustek’s artificial intelligence-of-things (AIoT) and research-and-development capabilities and technology solutions.”
Asustek said it released price lists to its channel partners last month, paving the way for the PC vendor to roll out its new own-brand NUC products in January. Prior to the NUC launch, Asustek is to resell Intel-branded NUC products to assist customers through the transition period that could last for one quarter.
Intel has shipped more than 10 million Intel-based NUC products to customers around the world since the compact computer was first introduced to the market.
The latest partnership with Intel will “create synergies for Asutek,” Jackie Hsu (許佑嘉), a senior vice president and cohead of Asustek’s Open Platform and AIoT Business Groups, told reporters yesterday.
The compact PC series targets gaming PC users, and commercial and industrial users, Hsu said.
“Asustek will introduce the new NUC model to users of its ROG-brand gaming product lines,” she said.
In addition, the introduction of new Intel NUC lines would help deliver AI applications on edge devices, Asustek said. The company has established an AI team of 300 software development engineers, it said.
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