Intel's Kaby Lake debut came with the usual amount of fanfare, but surprisingly, Intel slipped the low-power Apollo Lake SoCs out to market without an official press release (at least, one that we can find) or briefing. The taciturn launch features the latest 6W and 10W Atom-based Pentium and Celeron processors that address the low end of the market.
There is precious little information to go on, though we do know the six Apollo Lake SKUs feature 14nm Goldmont cores (no word if it is 14nm+), which supplant the previous-generation Braswell cores. The revamped line also features beefier Gen9 graphics cores, but there is no indication if the graphics feature the Gen9+ enhancements we covered during the recent Kaby Lake launch.
|Pentium J4205||Pentium J3455||Celeron J3355||Pentium N4200||Celeron N3350||Celeron N3450|
|Cores/Threads||4 / 4||4 / 4||2 / 2||4 /4||2 /2||4 / 4|
|Base/Burst Frequency (GHz)||1.5 / 2.6||1.5 / 2.3||2 / 2.5||1.1 / 2.5||1.1 / 2.4||1.1 / 2.2|
|Cache||2 MB||2 MB||2 MB||2 MB L2||2 MB L2||2 MB L2|
|Graphics||HD Graphics 505||HD Graphics 500||HD Graphics 500||HD Graphics 505||HD Graphics 500||HD Graphics 500|
|Graphics Base/Boost (MHz)||250 / 800||250 / 750||250 / 700||200 / 750||200 / 650||200 / 700|
|Max Graphics Memory||8 GB||8 GB||8 GB||8 GB||8 GB||8 GB|
|Memory Support||DDR3L/LPDDR3 up to 1866 MT/s; LPDDR4 up to 2400 MT/s||DDR3L/LPDDR3 up to 1866 MT/s; LPDDR4 up to 2400 MT/s||DDR3L/LPDDR3 up to 1866 MT/s; LPDDR4 up to 2400 MT/s||DDR3L/LPDDR3 up to 1866 MT/s; LPDDR4 up to 2400 MT/s||DDR3L/LPDDR3 up to 1866 MT/s; LPDDR4 up to 2400 MT/s||DDR3L/LPDDR3 up to 1866 MT/s; LPDDR4 up to 2400 MT/s|
The 10W processors actually experience a substantial TDP increase; the previous-generation weighed in at 6.5W. The increased headroom is logical in the broader sense, as there wasn't much breathing room between the 6W and 6.5W SKUs in the previous alignment. However, the higher TDP boosts the 10W products into the space between the 4.5W Y-Series and 15W U-Series. The Y and U Series have configurable TDPs (cTDP). The U-Series can adjust to a "Down" TDP rating of 7.5W, which lands below the 10W Apollo Lake SKUs.
The specs are less than sexy, but that is to be expected with this class of product. The 10W parts are bound for low-end desktops, and the 6W processors will attack the low end of the mobility segment. The primary advantages stem from the increase in graphics capabilities (including 16 EU to 18 EU) and the addition of two extra PCIe lanes (total of 6).
Intel is in the midst of a restructuring effort, and the company is focusing resources on core strategic segments, which might explain the muted Apollo Lake launch. Intel recently killed its Broxton and Willow Trail Atom cores for mobile and laptops, primarily because the company reduced investment in the mobile market. The company re-purposed Broxton for its IoT-centric Joule platform.
The "standard" 14nm process isn't quite as impressive as the new 14nm+ process found with Kaby Lake, but it should serve the intended market segments well. We should expect end-user devices to come to market soon, but Intel has not provided an official launch schedule.