Want a NUC with Thunderbolt? You can still find them in the channel, but once they’re gone, they’re gone.
Intel has been refreshing its NUC lineup with new models over the past 18 months, but the stalwart in the lineup has always been the Ivy Bridge-based DC3217BY, which remained the only NUC with Thunderbolt. It’s also, according to reps at Intel at the company's International Success Summit, not a very good seller.
Intel initially shipped two NUC models, the DC3217BY and the DC3217IYE. The differences were stark, with the DC3217BY omitting one HDMI port and LAN for Thunderbolt.
It seems that the lack of a traditional LAN port was what did it in, not necessarily Thunderbolt (although given that Thunderbolt still hasn’t seen widespread adoption, it was a feature few wanted). Even though many NUC models have come and gone, the DC3217BY has stuck around as the only model offering Thunderbolt.
It appears, however, that it's soon to be a distant memory. In fact, according to sources, it has already been quietly discontinued. Intel sold the remaining inventory into the channel earlier this year, and when those are gone, they’re gone. No replacement is currently in the works for 2014. Of course, if demand for Thunderbolt increases the company would consider bringing a new Thunderbolt-equipped NUC to market down the road.
If you're building custom solutions with Thunderbolt equipped NUC boards, stock up now while you can.