If you have a Tranquil NUC, or want to share pictures of it installed please send us your pictures: click here (Tranquil PC Drop Box service)
In November 2001, or thereabouts, the computing world was introduced to a new form factor – it was VIA Technologies that launched the Mini-ITX form factor, a new small 17cmx17cm design. The products were known as EPIA.
VIA stood at the forefront, and although other specialists followed, it was not until mid 2008 that Intel entered the market place, with the ‘Atom’ powered boards – again following the popular Small Form Factor (SFF) designs.
Mini-ITX has enabled numerous and many exciting new products to come to market over the last decade or so, but when Intel introduced the Next Unit of Computing, or the NUC, it wasn’t just a size change that excited the market, the CPU power performance and graphics capabilities were a step change up from the earlier VIA C3/C7 and Atom CPUs. The NUC brought near desktop performance to a new generation of devices – small, yet very powerful.
Intel also surprised the market by not only offering ‘Intel’ branded NUC main boards, but also ‘Intel’ branded barebones PCs! But these were all fanned, and generic (and a bit plastic) – so step in Tranquil, with a range of rugged, monocoque, fanless NUC chassis.
As many of our readers would be aware Tranquil PC are a small family owned and operated manufacturer of specialised ‘fan less’ products, often centred around x86, or PC hardware. Since 2003 we have designed and sold products to numerous markets and have been a close partner with Intel on many projects.
Since 2011 Tranquil has also had the benefit of running its own CNC milling factory in Manchester. Here we take customer or generic designs and turn them from ideas to products. With sophisticated 3D CAD modelling, thermal analysis tools and CAM software we are able to rapidly see products in the virtual world – and also how they would behave under varying thermal conditions. All of this is carried out before a single piece of aluminium is cut. Once cut we can then prove the conceptual designs and once the designs are optimised we can run production batches- and finish the products in our own finishing / anodising facility.
In Tranquil used its knowledge and skills to create the first ‘fanless’ NUC chassis. Initially this NUC chassis, which supported Intel’s 3rd Generation CPUS was sold only as a chassis. As many of Tranquil’s customers are OEM / Embedded partners, the tiny NUC form factor became very popular and many derivatives have been manufactured and supplied.
The chassis itself ‘is’ the heat-sink. This sounds simple, and the best products (often the most difficult to design) are extremely simple – take the iPad as an example.
Those interested in mechanical engineering or modern manufacturing know what CNC means, but for those who don’t CNC is the system that controls moving parts or tools as they work together to cut or shape materials, from raw billets to finished items.
The NUC story follows......
The Haswell 'Abel H' series gets a face list, and the addition of a HDD bay:
See how it looks inside !!
For more pictures, please visit flickr
Major investment is completed and 100's hours of advanced programming checked out - as the Abel H2 PC system sales exceed all forecasts. As a consequence the Abel H2 chassis is now manufactured, fully automatically at 8x pcs per batch (was 1x). The increased output also will enable the chassis to be sold on it's own, as our customers have asked for.
The Abel H2 Chassis kit is prepeared for sale / shipping - watch this space.