Intel has spilled the beans on a successor to the Bay Trail Atom processors used in tablets, thin and light laptops and entry-level systems. The new platform is codenamed Apollo Lake and is due in the second half of 2016.
Apollo Lake was announced at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Shenzhen, China, and is described as ideal for entry-level systems. The new family will comprise system-on-a-chip packages manufactured using Intel's 14nm production process, and will feature a new Goldmont core, the successor to the Silvermont design in earlier Atom chips.
"We will launch [this product] in the second half of this year. Apollo Lake is the follow-on to our Chery Trail or Atom x5 products, and our Braswell, Celeron and Pentium products," said Navin Shenoy, corporate vice president and general manager of Intel's Client Computing Group, during a keynote at IDF.
Shenoy explained that end users will see improved processor and graphics performance, as well as much better battery life, which is largely what buyers have come to expect with each new generation of Intel chip anyway.
Intel has provided a master reference design for system builders, and Shenoy claimed that the chipmaker already has 100 design wins, implying that there are several systems in the pipeline based on the Apollo Lake platform from hardware vendors.
However, full technical details of the platform have yet to be disclosed. Intel has said that Apollo Lake will enable smaller batteries, and hence lighter systems, without compromising on battery life. It will also support up to four processor cores and feature the latest Gen9 version of Intel's embedded graphics.
The platform will support PCIe SSDs as well as standard Sata drives, and will rely largely on USB Type-C for external I/O ports, Intel said.
Intel's more mainstream Skylake chips were announced late last year, introducing the sixth generation of Intel's Core processor family with DDR4 memory support for laptops and tablets.
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