Intel unveils its new Apollo Lake platform for next-generation Atom-based notebook SoCs

Intel has officially unveiled its new Apollo Lake platform, which is the next-generation family of Atom-based notebook SoCs. Apollo Lake uses a new x86 microarchitecture, as well as a new generation graphics core that will provide more performance.

The new Apollo Lake family is targeted for the affordable all-in-ones, mini PCs, hybrid devices, notebooks and tablet PCs, which coming in the second half of this year. Apollo Lake is built on the new Atom-based x86 microarchitecture known as Goldmont, with Intel’s 9th-generation graphics architecture same as current Skylake processors.

Apollo Lake platform

The new Apollo Lake family comes with support for dual-channel DDR4, DD3L, and LPDDR3/4 memory which allows companies to make devices with all sorts of form factors. The Apollo Lake also have SATA drives, PCIe x4 drives and eMMC 5.0 – USB Type-C support with various wireless technologies.

Apollo Lake platform 1

Intel says that the upcoming affordable PCs should be very thin, and according to their market research, thinner devices (mini PCs, hybrid PCs, 2-in-1 hybrids, and so on) are what consumers want.

In order to get devices thinner, Intel traditionally proposes to use their M.2-based storage, or solder-down eMMC SSD options, instead of the usual 2.5-inch HDDs and SSDs. Intel says that it makes sense to use solder-down Wi-Fi instead of a separate module for space savings, too.

 Apollo Lake platform 2

Intel, for the first time ever, is proposing the use of smaller batteries – but with devices that feature longer battery life by cutting the power consumption of the entire platform. Smaller batteries usually make sense, but with high-resolution displays that consume lots of power, it’s hard to reduce the size of batteries – while keeping the premium trimmings on the product.

Intel is pushing to their reference core components design being used for all sorts of different form factors, while revealing the bill of materials (BOM) savings opportunities with Apollo Lake. This is courtesy of the increased SoC integration, as well as Intel pushing a recommended set of components.
Apollo Lake platform 3

All of the savings can make a big difference for the BOM, between $5.55 and $7.35 – which allows for double the memory, or a better display – all for the same price, with a next-generation device. Not too bad at all.

Intel looks to be aiming its reference design for Apollo Lake-based PCs for the tablet and 2-in-1 hybrid devices, featuring an 11.6-inch 1080p 10-point multi-touch display, 4GB of LPDDR3-1866 RAM, 64GB M.2 SATA3 SSD or 32GB eMMC storage.

Intel also put an M.2 wireless module supporting 802.11ac Wi-Fi, an optional M.2 LTE modem, an integrated USB 2-based camera, a bunch of sensors (including an accelerometer, ambient light, proximity detection, and magnetic switching), as well as a USB Type-C connector that supports USB power delivery and alternate modes.


Intel may showcase its new Apollo Lake platform at Computex which starting in June.