Benefits of the new Intel® Atom™ processors „Apollo Lake“

Benefits of the new Intel® Atom™ processors „Apollo Lake“
Whitepaper
Benefits of the new Intel® Atom™
processors „Apollo Lake“
Next generation Intel® low-power
processors and their benefits
congatec supports the new low-power Intel® Atom™, Celeron® and Pentium® processors
(Codename Apollo Lake) on six different form factors: Mini-ITX motherboards and Pico-ITX
single board computers as well as COM Express Compact, COM Express Mini, Qseven and
– this is really new – SMARC 2.0 Computer-on-Modules. What makes this processor so
attractive for design-in on so many different form factors?
A quick overview
The new low-power processors from Intel® offer significantly higher performance at lower power
consumption with massively improved graphics capabilities. That is the major message of the
brand new low-power Intel® Atom™, Celeron® and Pentium® processors, launched on October
25, 2016. Designers across the broad spectrum of embedded markets will find essential value in
the improved performance-per-watt at a power envelope of only 6 to 12 watt. Additionally, new
graphics capabilities are fueled by the powerful Intel® Gen 9 graphics engine, which was previously
only available at the high-end level of Intel® Core™ processors. Extended temperature support,
accommodating ambient temperatures ranging from -40° C to +85° C, as well as comprehensive
real-time capabilities rounds out the feature set. All this makes the new low-power processor
generation very attractive, blending performance, price and embedded longevity.
The new BGA package
The 14 nm BGA (Ball Grid Array) package of the new low-power processors now has 1296 pins,
or 10 % more as compared to the 1170 pins of its predecessors. As a result, the new processors’
BGA options have a 10% larger footprint, measuring 31x24 mm or 744 mm² compared to earlier
processors measuring 25 x 27 mm or 675 mm².
Processor
The Intel® Pentium® Processor N4200 offers a SYSmark 2014 improvement of round about 30%
on Windows in contrast to the earlier Intel® Pentium® Processor N3710. With this significantly
increased processor performance over the previous generation platform, the latest Intel® Pentium®
and Celeron® processors give embedded and IoT platforms the computing power they need.
Processor
Cores
Intel® Smart Cache
[MB]
Clock/ Burst
[GHz]
TDP [W]
Graphics Execution
Units
Intel® Pentium® N4200
4
2
1.1 / 2.5
6
18
Intel® Celeron® N3350
2
1
1.1 / 2.4
6
12
Intel® Atom™ x7-E3950
4
2
1.6 / 2.0
12
18
Intel® Atom™ x5-E3940
4
2
1.6 / 1.8
9
12
Intel® Atom™ x5-E3930
2
1
1.3 / 1.8
6.5
12
Battery performance
At performance ranges similar to earlier processor generations, the battery of the new Intel®
Celeron® or Pentium® processor is expected to last approximately 15% longer. Data for the Intel®
Atom™ processors is expected to demonstrate a similar advantage.
Improved memory performance
Improvements in memory performance are enabled by new support for LPDDR4 RAM with up to
2400 MT/s. Compared to LPDDR3 or DDR3L RAM, both performing at 1867 MT/s, this delivers
an improvement of approximately 30 %. The new processor’s maximum memory bandwidth is
also improved from 25.6 GB/s to 38.4 GB/s; an increase of 50 % compared to its predecessor.
For maximum flexibility in memory design, the architecture also supports 16 GB SODIMM or 8
GB memory down.
For DDR3L RAM implementations, the new processor generation now supports dual-channel
error correction code (ECC), a critical requirement for safety applications that demand single
failure tolerance. In contrast to the earlier processor generation, this empowers designs for
critical real-time embedded applications.
New graphics performance
The Intel® Gen 9 graphics engine, initially developed for high performance Intel® Core™ processors,
is now built into low-power new Intel® Atom™, Celeron® and Pentium® processors as well. Up
to 18 execution units are now offered instead of up to 16, including support for 4K decoding/
encoding of H.264 and VP8 as well as decoding of HEVC. Performance improvement is estimated
to be three times higher compared to the extended temperature range options supporting Intel®
Atom™ processors with codename Bay Trail. Compared to low-power processors with codename
Braswell, performance is approximately 45 % higher in accordance to the 3DMark Skydiver
Graphics Score benchmark of the Intel® Pentium® Processor N4200 vs Intel® Pentium® Processor
N3710.
Supported display resolutions
4K support is now standard even for low-power segments. The new Intel® Atom™, Celeron® and
Pentium® processors support up to three 4K displays with resolutions up to 4096 x 2160 @ 60 Hz.
Earlier processor generations offered a mix of support with lower resolutions and only 1x 4K support
at 30 Hz.
Copy protection of videos
Copy protection of videos is improved by new processor generation’s support of HDCP 2.2 decryption
and encryption of multiple streams.
Camera image processing
Camera image processing capabilities have significantly improved with the new Intel® Atom™,
Celeron® and Pentium® processor technology. Still capture capacity is now 13 MP @ 30 FPS, vs
2.5 FPS previously. Video capture capabilities perform at 4K2K @ 30 FPS, in contrast to 1080 @ 60
FPS in earlier processors. Video with HDR can now be captured up to 1080p @30 FPS, illustrating a
notable improvement from earlier generations offering no support for this feature. Up to four MIPI
cameras are supported, rather than the three previously available; processing performance of up
to 165 GFLOPS and four vector units (instead of two) improve image processing capabilities to a
performance level even more suitable for smart camera technologies.
Further IO and storage
The new Intel® Atom™, Celeron® and Pentium® processors supports six PCIe lanes – offering 4x PCIe
2.0 in contrast to the 3x PCIe offered by its predecessors. This adds critical value in designing feature
rich IoT devices that must cater to various wireless interface standards, commonly connected to
processors via PCIe lanes. Also new is the eMMC 5.0 support; compared to the eMMC 4.0 support
of earlier generations, bandwidth is doubled with this improvement, extending up to 3.2 Gbit/s read
performance. As a result, applications benefit from shorter boot times and faster data loads. New
features also include support of 4x HSUART and 3x SPI; The processor supported IO and storage
feature set is rounded out with dual SATA 3, 5x USB 3.0 and 2x USB 2.0 plus 1x client-capable USB
3.0 (all USB Type C with power delivery.) In addition, the enhanced Integrated Sensor Hub (ISH 4)
and integrated Dual Audio DSP with up to 6 I2S ports further improve the audio experience for users.
M2 socket
uSim Card
mSATA/mPCIe *1
uSim
Card
SATA/SATA DOM
PCIe2
(PCI slot)
SATA
PCIe2 (mPCIe)
SATA Power
SATA1 (M.2)
SATA Power
Intel Apollo Lake oC
SATA1
(M.2)
2x SO-DIMM DDR3L
COMPUTE UNIT
Tri-gate 3D 14nm Single/Dual/Quad Core
SATA0
SPI
SPI Flash
1MB L2 Cache Shared By 2 Cores
SATA1
SSE4.2
Micro SD Card
Virtualization (VT-x)
64 Architecture
USB2.0
USB 2.0 (M2)
AES-NI
Thermal Mgmt.
MIPI 2xCAMS
USB2.0
USB 2.0 (mPCIe)
Memory Controller
USB2.0
2x USB 2.0
HDMI 1.4 (3D, 4k)
embedded DP
Ethernet
i211
Ethernet
i211
PCIe
PCIe
DDI1
DP++
congatec
Board Controller
TPM
VGA
Super I/O
3D
OCL 1.2
MPEG-2
OpenCL 1.2
H.264
OpenGL 3.0
WMV9
OpenGLES 2.0
MJPEG
DirectX 11
2x24 bit
LVDS
Intrusion
Header
UART 0
INTEGRATED I/O
eDP to LVDS
PCIe
SATA
Buzzer
LPC Bus
GPIOs
USB 2.0
USB 3.0
High Definition Audio
HD Audio
CS4207
External I/O
Internal speaker
Audio MIC
SBM3 Batt. Mgmt *3
Reverse Polarity
Protection
HDA
Audio HeadPh
ccTALK *3
Power IN
Speaker
Digital Mic
Front Panel
HD Audio
UART 1
I/O Interfaces
Backlight
SPDIF Out
4-wire
System FAN
4-wire
CPU FAN
eDP
eDP *2
Feature
Connector
Multimedia Features
DDI0
DP++
LPC
Display Interfaces
DisplayPort 1.2
USB2.0
USB 2.0 Header
Low Power
Dual Channel
USB3.0
USB 3.0 ICCa
Header
Front Panel
SoC TRANSACTION ROUTER
USB3.0
2x USB 3.0
LVDS
PCIe4/
USB3
PCIe5
Internal I/O
optional
Power IN
*1
*2 Located at the bottom side.
*3 Optional feature.
Block diagram of the conga-IA5 Thin Mini-ITX board.
OS support
The new Intel® Atom™, Celeron® and Pentium® processors support Windows 10 as well as
Linux (including Yocto), VxWorks and Android (Marshmallow), and considers Windows 7 and 8
obsolete. Certain applications may need adaptation towards the new Windows OS, however
it is an important step in capitalizing on new OS benefits. For example, Windows 10 IoT offers
a range of security technologies such as Secure Boot, BitLocker, Device Guard and Credential
Guard, ensuring that appliances are comprehensively protected from power-on to power-off.
Windows 10 IoT provides flexible and necessary functions for any specific device environment,
whether just a single app must be launched or access must be restricted to non-authorized USB
peripherals.
Additionally, Windows activation – which is otherwise obligatory – can now be switched off
to enable booting in locked network environments. Customers also benefit from integrated
interoperability, adding value to IoT-typical heterogeneous device environments. In addition
to embedded appliances, these also include smartphones, PCs and laptops, as well as edge,
fog and cloud servers. Development of universal apps is less complex, along with a simplified
approach to enabling the security and management of IoT applications. Developers can reduce
resources to these efforts and completely focus on core competencies.
Real-time feature adds
The new Intel® Atom™, Celeron® and Pentium® processors also include new Precision Time
Management support; the processor synchronizes its CPU with I/Os, improving determinism
for directed I/Os. This technology offers a Core Time Stamp Counter as well as PCIe clock
synchronization, enabling the processor to prevent cache collisions. Virtual Channel (Intel® VT)
functionality is now supported to the CPU edge and includes a Memory Arbiter QOS between
the CPU and Virtual Channel.
Back again: The extended temperature SKUs
Because Intel® opted to drop its extended temperature support for the previous generation of
Intel® Atom™ processors (codename Braswell), engineers needed to wait for the evolution from
Bay Trail to Apollo Lake for this functionality. The new Intel® Atom™ processors are capable
of withstanding harsh environments ranging from -40 °C up to +85 °C ambient temperature,
establishing this new processor generation as an ideal, multi-purpose option for designs in
various application areas. The Intel® Celeron® and Intel® Pentium® processors are designed for
0° C to +70° C.
Long-term availability
According to the demands in the embedded markets, these processor families also offer
long-term availability of 7 years.
Application areas
Intel® Atom™, Celeron® and Pentium® processors ideal application areas range from headless IoT
gateways and industrial controls to multi-display digital signage systems, HMIs and GUIs across
all low-power sectors of x86 embedded computing. Rugged mobile devices as well as in-vehicle
and outdoor systems are also readily supported, along with all manner of intelligent systems
such as smart cities and facilities, smart metering, connected homes and intelligent cameras in
the widest range of deployment scenarios.
Which form factor fits best?
The broad spectrum of possible applications calls for a corresponding array of dedicated OEM
system designs. This is congatec’s strongest value proposition, offering OEMs every advantage
in simplifying the use of new Intel® Atom™, Celeron® and Pentium® processor technology – from
six different standard form factors on boards and modules, to original design and manufacturing
(ODM) services for PCBs and OEM system designs.
Mini ITX and Pico ITX
With Intel® Atom™, Celeron® and
Pentium® processor-based Mini
ITX and Pico ITX boards, engineers
have a range of attractive options
– including long-term available,
industrial-grade
motherboards
and single board computers that
fit perfectly into any standard
system design that doesn’t require
a dedicated PCB for a customized
feature set. These boards are
application-ready for immediate conga-IA5 Thin Mini-ITX and conga-PA5 Pico ITX Single Board Computers.
use, however if you are facing any
BSP or driver challenges, congatec’s personal support is there to help. IoT engineers can also
capitalize on the support of SIM cards offered by congatec’s Mini ITX motherboards, greatly
reducing the complexity of setting up remote connections to the board via cellular infrastructures.
The Pico-ITX option offers excellent flexibility with a wide range of interfaces in a very small
footprint.
COM Express, Qseven and SMARC 2.0
For applications that require a dedicated
carrier board for customized interfaces,
engineers can choose a preferred module
from congatec’s broad portfolio of COM
Express, Qseven and – this is really new
– SMARC 2.0 Computer-on-Modules.
Optionally, congatec also provides dedicated
carrier board designs for these modules.
congatec is open to any type of design
cooperation, and engineers are completely
free to decide whether carrier board design
is the OEM’s core competence or whether
resources are better used by outsourcing.
conga-QA5 Qseven, conga-TCA5 COM Express Compact and conga-SA5 SMARC 2.0
Computer-On-Modules.
To help determine which Computer-on-Module form factor is the right one for your design,
congatec offers guidance at a glance: COM Express compact and mini modules are for designs
that require not only low power but also a more powerful Intel® Core™ processor design. To
choose between SMARC 2.0 and Qseven, designers need only decide whether the system
is more deeply embedded (ideal for Qseven) or more graphics- and feature-rich (optimal for
SMARC 2.0.)
WiFi, Bluetooth LE and NFC on module
It may be of interest to note the credit card-sized
SMARC 2.0 offers wireless interfaces as an
option, adding tangible design value. The first
congatec module based on the Intel® Pentium®
processor includes WiFi, Bluetooth Low Energy
and NFC interface options directly implemented
on the module. For designers, this more easily
enables applications where distributed wireless
sensors, actors and other devices need a local
IoT gateway.
Datasheets
The new congatec Quick Starter Kit simplifies the rapid development of new SMARC 2.0
wireless IoT applications with WiFI and bluetooth onboard.
Please follow these links for more information about Intel® Atom™, Celeron® and Pentium®
Processors on each of the following form factors:
------
Thin Mini-ITX and Pico-ITX will be released in November 2016
Qseven
http://www.congatec.com/de/products/qseven/conga-qa5.html
SMARC 2.0
http://www.congatec.com/de/products/smarc/conga-sa5.html
COM Express Compact
http://www.congatec.com/de/products/com-express-type6/conga-tca5.html
COM Express Mini will be released in January 2017
Simplify the use of embedded technology
If you are intrigued by the new Intel® Atom™, Celeron® and Pentium® processor family and are
interested in exploring congatec’s boards and modules for your new projects, please contact us
at info@congatec.com. Our engineers are more than happy to answer your design questions. At
congatec, our aim is to simplify the use of embedded technology for you and your innovative
applications.
Author
Zeljko Loncaric, Marketing Engineer, congatec AG
About congatec AG
Headquartered in Deggendorf, Germany, congatec AG is a leading supplier of industrial
computer modules using the standard form factors COM Express, Qseven and SMARC
as well as single board computers and EDM services. congatec’s products can be used in a
variety of industries and applications, such as industrial automation, medical, entertainment,
transportation, telecommunication, test & measurement and point-of-sale. Core knowledge and
technical know-how includes unique extended BIOS features as well as comprehensive driver
and board support packages. Following the design-in phase, customers are given support via
extensive product lifecycle management. The company’s products are manufactured by specialist
service providers in accordance with modern quality standards. Currently congatec has entities in
Taiwan, Japan, China, USA, Australia and the Czech Republic. More information is available on
our website at www.congatec.com or via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Headquarters
congatec AG
Auwiesenstraße 5
94469 Deggendorf
Germany
Phone+ 49 (991) 2700-0
Fax + 49 (991) 2700 -111
info@congatec.com
www.congatec.com
Subsidiaries
congatec Asia Ltd.
congatec, Inc.
congatec Japan K.K.
congatec Australia Pty Ltd.
congatec China Technology Ltd.
14F-2, No. 270, Sec 4,
Zhongxiao E. Rd.
106 Taipei City, Taiwan
6262 Ferris Square
San Diego
CA 92121 USA
Shiodome building 301,
Minato-ku Hamamatsucho 1-2-7,
105-0013 Tokyo-to, Japan
Unit 2, 62 Township Drive
West Burleigh
Queensland 4219, Australia
Sunyoung Center, 901 Building B,
No. 28 Xuanhua Road, Changning District,
Shanghai 200050, China
Phone+ 886 (2) 2775-4645
Fax + 886 (2) 2775-3263
Phone+ 1 (858) 457-2600
Fax + 1 (858) 457-2602
Phone+ 81 3 (6435) 925-0
Fax + 81 3 (6435) 925-1
Phone+ 61 (7) 55200-841
Phone+ 86 (21) 6025-5862
Fax +86 (21) 6025-6561
sales-asia@congatec.com
www.congatec.tw
sales-us@congatec.com
www.congatec.us
sales-jp@congatec.com
www.congatec.jp
sales-au@congatec.com
www.congatec.com.au
www.congatec.com
sales-asia@congatec.com
www.congatec.cn
YOUTUBE LOGO SPECS
PRINT
main red
PMS 1815C
white
black
C0 M0 Y0 K0
C100 M100 Y100 K100
WHITE
on dark backgrounds
standard
standard
no gradients
no gradients
gradient bottom
PMS 1795C
C0 M96 Y90 K2
on light backgrounds
C13 M96 Y81 K54
BLACK
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