Intel Unveils Apollo Lake System-on-Chip Platform for Low-Cost PCs
At its Developers Forum in Shenzhen, China last week, Intel took the wraps off a new system-on-chip platform for entry-level PCs. Expected to roll out in the second half of this year, the Apollo Lake platform is designed for low-cost devices, including notebooks, tablets and all-in-ones.
Built with "Goldmont," Intel's new Atom-based x86 microarchitecture, the Apollo Lake platform will help deliver more powerful performance and optimized battery life for a range of new devices, according to coverage of the IDF presentation. The platform also features an updated graphics core that uses Intel's Gen9 graphics engine.
The Apollo Lake platform will enable cost-efficient power delivery, mixed memory support and other new features in devices, according to Intel slides presented during the Shenzhen conference. Entry-level PCs built with the platform will be aimed at small businesses, educational users and first-time buyers, according to Intel.
Aiming for Affordable and 'Beautiful'
Intel's planned support for improved entry-level PCs, laptops, tablets and other devices includes an emphasis on a "very thin" form factor, the technology site AnandTech reported. One slide from the IDF presentation indicated that Intel is also promoting the idea that "affordable can be beautiful too."
Apollo Lake will enable device makers to "slim down" their products with smaller batteries, thanks in part to the platform's support for improved power performance. It will also support cameras built with MIPI (Mobile Industry Processor Interface) Alliance specifications, which will make it possible to create thinner devices while also potentially saving money, the company said.
"[G]iven the fact that we are talking about low-cost systems, do not expect retail computers to feature multiple storage devices and LTE modems," AnandTech said. However, the Apollo Lake platform could enable MacBook-like and Chromebook-like cloudbooks, according to AnandTech.
Cloudbooks have sold well in the U.S., but improvements in performance and design are "making these devices gain traction worldwide," Intel noted.
Balancing Cost, Performance, Battery Life
The Apollo Lake platform should enable original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to boost the performance of current cloudbook models while maintaining the typically low prices -- in the $169 to $269 range -- for such devices, according to AnandTech. More details about the latest OEMs' offerings for the education market are likely to emerge in their back-to-school product announcements this summer, AnandTech said.
For businesses and other users, Apollo Lake will provide a foundation for devices that can deliver "performance for everyday content consumption and light productivity," according to Intel. The platform will provide "the best balance yet of cost, performance and battery life for the entry segment," the company said.
Intel's two-day developer forum also featured programs about cloud-driven innovation, the digitization of "everything," robotics and the Internet of Things. The company is making major investments to support developers and manufacturers across China, with programs such as its Intel Mass Makerspace Accelerator and its plans to invest $5.5 billion to move 3D NAND production to its facility in Dalian, China.
Image Credit: Intel.