A forum user at Chinese website PCEVA has leaked a roadmap for Intel's upcoming NUC (next unit of computing) product line through 2020, but we caution that, even though many of the details of the leaked roadmap make sense, you should take the information with a grain of salt. The new NUCs, codenamed "Ghost Canyon X," will be available with processor options up to Intel Core i9 octa-core parts.
If the leaked roadmap turns out to be accurate, the Ghost Canyon X NUCs employ Intel's 9th-generation Coffee Lake-H Refresh (CFL-HR) processors. The high-end models make use of the Core i9-9xxxH octa-core and Core i7-9xxxH hexa-core processors with Hyper-threading. These chips feature a 45W TDP (thermal design power) and will undoubtedly find their way into high-end mobile workstations and gaming laptops.
For those consumers that don't need the power of an octa-core or hexa-core chip, the Ghost Canyon X NUCs are available with Core i5-9xxxH processors as well. The Core i5-9xxxH is a quad-core, eight-thread part that also has a 45W TDP.
Intel's upcoming Ghost Canyon X NUCs reportedly rely on the chipmaker's integrated UHD Graphics unit. However, there's a PCIe x16 slot for consumers that want to upgrade the unit with a discrete graphics card. In terms of memory slots, the NUCs are equipped with two DDR4 slots and can house up to 64GB of DDR4 memory and modules with speeds up to 2,666MHz.
Storage connectivity comes courtesy of two M.2 slots that can accommodate SATA III and PCIe drives with lengths up to 110mm. Intel Ghost Canyon X NUCs are compatible with Intel Optane SSDs as well for consumers that want to take advantage of the new technology. Unfortunately, there is no mention of spacing for a regular 2.5-inch hard drive or SSD.
Video outputs on the rumored Ghost Canyon X NUCs come in form of three HDMI 2.0a ports powered by the Intel UHD Graphics. There are several options for connectivity. For a start, two Thunderbolt 3 ports are available and can provide up to 40Gbps of throughput. On the other hand, the list of conventional USB ports includes two in the front and six in the back although the leaked roadmap didn't specify the nature of the USB ports.
Pricing for the Ghost Canyon X NUCs are unknown, but they are expected to be released in 2020.