Intel unveils Apollo Lake entry-level PC platform
April 18, 2016 | 11:46
Intel has announced its latest platform for entry-level PC hardware, Apollo Lake, boasting of advantages from its latest Goldmont microarchitecture - including support for LPDDR4 for the first time.
Designed for entry-level and ultra-compact devices, Intel's Apollo Lake platform is the latest form of its Atom devices. The new Goldmont microarchitecture, the company has claimed, offers performance and efficiency improvements which only increase when taking the new ninth-generation Intel Graphics core - the same generation as its mainstream Skylake chips - into account. The platform as a whole, though, is what Intel is pushing - promising the ability to reduce the cost of building entry-level systems, the ability to use smaller batteries without dropping runtime, and the ability to build smaller and thinner systems overall.
According to Intel, the Apollo Lake platform brings a bunch of new support options designed to reduce the size and cost of all-in-one and convertible devices: improvements in efficiency mean it can run on a smaller battery, an Intel-approved power management controller (PMIC) can offer a board-footprint reduction over rival parts used with the company's previous-generation Atom parts, there's support for Intel's 802.11ac soldered-down Wi-Fi modules, eMMC storage, and the option of supporting DDR3, DDR3L, LPDDR3, and for the first time LPDDR4 memory.
Overall, Intel claims that it's possible to save almost $8 per device by switching to Apollo Lake's various new features - and while that may not sound like much, it could have a major impact on the retail pricing of cost-sensitive entry-level systems without a loss of performance, battery life, or functionality.
Full specifications and tray pricing for Intel's Apollo Lake platform have yet to be confirmed, with Intel's various hardware partners expected to reveal their designs at Computex later this year.