Intel May License NUC Mini PC Designs To Other Firms, No Plans For Now
Intel expects to close a definitive agreement with Asus on a non-exclusive NUC licensing deal next month, but partners shouldn’t expect the chipmaker to sign similar agreements with other companies anytime soon. It’s not clear if any Intel NUC employees will move to Asus as part of the deal, but some have already lost their jobs due to the chipmaker’s decision to stop investing in the business.
Intel said it may license its NUC mini PC designs to other companies in the future after reaching a preliminary deal to do so with Taiwanese electronics giant Asus, but there are no plans for now.
An Intel spokesperson provided the confirmation to CRN on Wednesday, giving further clarity to the chipmaker’s plan “to enable our ecosystem partners to continue NUC innovation and growth,” as the company said when it first announced its plan to exit the NUC business last week.
The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company announced the day before that it had agreed to a term sheet with Asus that will give the Taiwan-based company a non-exclusive license to Intel’s NUC designs. This will let Asus sell 10th- to 13th-generation NUC products, develop new NUC designs and support NUC customers.
“The 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 systems designs to others. However, Intel will continue to support and enable our customers’ own mini PC designs,” the spokesperson said.
Intel, ASUS Expect To Close On Licensing Deal In August
Intel expects to close a definitive agreement with Asus on the NUC licensing deal next month, according to the representative. The two companies are hashing out plans now to facilitate a smooth transition for NUC customers, and customers with questions about NUC product availability and ordering through Asus should contact the Taiwanese company, the spokesperson added.
A distribution executive told CRN that he would be surprised if Intel ended up licensing NUC designs to other companies, but he said it may happen if Asus only licensed certain NUC designs to fill gaps in its existing mini PC portfolio, which is focused on industrial IoT use cases.
“Maybe there’s other parts of the NUC line that Asus didn’t want to try to do,” said Kent Tibbils, vice president of marketing at Fremont, Calif.-based ASI.
Intel NUC Employees Post About Layoffs
It’s not clear if any Intel employees who worked in the chipmaker’s NUC business will move over to Asus’ newly created NUC division, as Intel declined to comment on the matter.
However, several Intel NUC employees have posted on LinkedIn in the past week that they have lost their jobs, with some attributing their departure to the company’s NUC business exit. Roles impacted include marketing, product management, data science, software engineering and business management.
Intel has been on a cost-cutting spree since it announced a plan last fall to reduce spending by billions of dollars by 2025, and that has resulted over the last several months in an unspecified number of layoffs and the decision to exit several non-core businesses, including the company’s NUC division.