Intel’s new Apollo Lake processor may make your next hybrid PC as cheap as chips

Intel has introduced a new Atom processor platform, Apollo Lake, for low-cost PCs at the Intel Developer Forum event at Shenzhen.

It features a new x86 micro-architecture named Goldmont as well as a new ninth-generation architecture (Gen9) graphics core for increased performance due to both better architecture and a higher count of execution units, allowing 4K video from hardware decoding of HEVC and VP9 codec.

Apollo Lake will support dual-channel DDR4, DDR3L and LPDDR3/4 memory, and will support traditional SATA drives, PCIe x4 drives and eMMC 5.0 options. Intel recommends USB-C and wireless for connectivity.

Improved power management should result it longer battery life, allowing smaller batteries and thinner form factors.

Further to this aim,  Intel proposes OEMs use either M.2 or solder-down eMMC solid-state storage options instead of 2.5” HDDs/SSDs and  solder-down Wi-Fi, instead of using a separate module. The Apollo Lake package itself is also very thin.

Intel’s reference design for Apollo Lake-based PCs appear to be a tablet/2-in-1 hybrid system with an 11.6” full-HD (1920×1080) 10-point multi-touch display, 4 GB of LPDDR3-1866 memory, 64 GB M.2 SATA3 SSD or 32 GB eMMC storage, an M.2 wireless module supporting 802.11ac, an optional M.2 LTE modem, an integrated USB 2 camera, a host of sensors (accelerometer, ambient light, proximity detection, and magnetic switching) as well as a USB Type-C connector supporting USB power delivery and alternate modes.

Despite being very thin, the devices are not expected to be expensive, due to a higher level of SoC integration as well as a recommended choice of components. Devices should appear in the second half of 2016 and will carry Celeron and Pentium-branded processors at the $169 – $269 price-points.  First devices may be shown off at Computex in early June and IDF San Francisco in August.

See slides from Intel’s presentation below:

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