Intel Apollo Lake 'Announcement' Light On Details, Does Mention Memory Support And iGPU

Following Intel's IDF16 in Shenzhen, China, reports swirled that Intel announced Apollo Lake. When we reached out to Intel for more details, however, we were informed that this was a mischaracterization of what was revealed.

Apollo Lake is the successor to Intel's Airmont architecture in the Atom product line. It is also the most significant architectural redesign in the Atom line since the introduction of Silvermont in 2013. Airmont, which succeeded Silvermont, was merely a die shrink with a beefier iGPU and little to no alternations to the CPU cores.

From a high-level view point, Intel has stated that Apollo Lake will bring improvements to both CPU and iGPU performance while also reducing power consumption.

At IDF16 in Shenzhen, Intel told attendees that Apollo Lake was on track to be released some time in the second half of this year, but it did not set a specific release date and it released relatively few technical details.

The ones that Intel did confirm at the event are in regard to the iGPU and Apollo Lake's memory support. When Apollo Lake is available, it will contain an Intel HD Graphics processor based on Intel's 9th generation graphics architecture. (This is the same graphics architecture as Skylake.)

As for Apollo lake's memory controller, like Skylake it will support both DDR3L and DDR4L. DDR3L support is limited to 1866 MHz; Intel didn't specify a frequency for the DDR4L memory, but it did mention low-power DDR4L, which likely points to memory clocked at 2133 MHz.

Given the release window for Apollo Lake, we already expected that it would use the 9th gen graphics architecture and support DDR3L and some form of DDR4, but until now nothing had been confirmed.

The company also gave us a look at the expected cost of producing Apollo Lake based systems: They should be lower than Silvermont or Airmont devices, which gives us a rather broad idea of what an Apollo Lake notebook might cost, but there are no specifics at this time.

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Michael Justin Allen Sexton is a Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware US. He covers hardware component news, specializing in CPUs and motherboards.
  • digitalgriffin
    How much more performance can they eek out before they kill Pentium sales?
  • Xaltar
    Sadly Intel's SoC lineup has actually proved to be one of the more interesting product evolutions (for me at least). The fact that my little N3150 based mATX system can handle all my old games and even manage semi playable FPS in some MMOs while drawing a total of 28w from the wall is quite frankly mind blowing. If Apollo Lake can eek out a little more raw CPU performance as well as beef up the GPU in the same TDP envelope I can see it being wildly appealing in entry level laptops and other basic use devices. I wouldn't advise anyone to use these little SoCs as their sole system but as a cheap travel laptop or HTPC these things really shine.
  • William Henrickson
    These will make awesome 8" tablets! Can't wait!
  • bit_user
    I've been waiting for a proper follow-up to the J1900. The N3150 delivered power savings, but not much else.

    I'm more interested in it as a lightweight home server platform, actually.
  • gopher1369
    Agreed with above, have a J1900 based Gigabyte Brix, makes a brilliant Plex server + internet/email PC. Can even play Football Manager on it. Cost me about £120 in total. These are great little chips.