Skip to main content

Intel shamelessly enticing OEMs to use upcoming ‘Apollo Lake’ CPUs during IDF 2016

Just as Intel pushed the idea of a super-thin form factor with a price tag below $1,000 called the Ultrabook, the company is now enticing manufacturers to jump on the Cloudbook bandwagon. Unlike the Ultrabook, these solutions don’t aim for the thin but go for the gold, specifically sales gold — the lucrative sub-$270 market. They’re getting to be quite popular, supposedly selling more than 5 million units since Intel introduced them back in late 2014.

This week, Intel is pushing manufacturers to use its just-announced “Apollo Lake” processors in these Cloudbooks during its Intel Developer Forum in China. Previous Cloudbook solutions packed Celeron, Pentium, and Atom chips based on “Braswell” and “Bay Trail-M” architectures. The new Apollo Lake processors that Intel wants OEMs to use are expected to ship in the second half of 2016.

Related Videos

So what makes a Cloudbook? Consider them to be Chromebook rivals, but with the Windows platform instead of Google’s Chrome OS. They’re highly thin because they have no hard drives or optical drives, relying instead on flash-based storage, ranging in size between 2GB and 32GB (although some have 64GB). Intel says that every OEM is making a Cloudbook, with solutions ranging from 11.6/13.3/14-inch clamshells to 11.6-inch convertibles.

For instance, Acer has the Aspire One Cloudbook in four different flavors. They’re based on the dual-core Intel Celeron N3050 processor clocked at a meager 1.6GHz, 2GB of DDR3L memory, and Windows 10 Home. The screen options range from 11.6 inches to 14 inches while the storage options span from 32GB to 64GB of flash-based storage. Prices range from $190 to $250, making them look super tasty to penny pinchers.

The reference design Intel is offering to OEMs includes an 11.6-inch screen with a 1,920 x 1,080 resolution and an optional 10-point touch input. On the memory front, the design uses 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM from Samsung while providing 64GB of storage via an M.2 SSD and/or 32GB of eMMC 5.0-based storage.

Other ingredients consist of Wireless AC connectivity with Bluetooth 4.1, an optional built-in camera, four sensors, a USB Type-C port, and a few battery options. The HD audio codec is provided by Realktek whereas the device’s charger will be provided by Texas Instruments. However, Intel’s slides pulled from the show point out that the components chosen for the reference design are CTE-friendly (China Tech Ecosystem) and are not only low cost, but are currently available in the supply chain.

Some of the Apollo Lake features promoted by Intel include an improved CPU performance thanks to a new architecture, hardware accelerated codecs, and a ninth-generation graphics engine. Improved battery life is another strong feature as well as the ability to add more USB ports, MIPI capabilities, mixed memory support, and a higher cost reduction on power delivery.

According to Intel, the Apollo Lake platform “delivers the foundation for a great entry design.” For an affordable price, consumers can supposedly work all day on a single charge, play HD video without a hitch, and enjoy a “beautiful, sleek, portable” design. Cloudbooks currently cost between $169 and $269, making them great products for first-time buyers and students.

As previously stated, Intel is launching its Apollo Lake processors in the second half of 2016, and it will likely follow its Broadwell-E processor family launch planned for Computex 2016, which takes place in Taipei from May 31 to June 4. We expect to hear hear more about Intel’s Apollo Lake plans during this event if the company doesn’t spill more of the beans this week during IDF 2016.

Editors' Recommendations

Intel Innovation 2022: 13th-gen chips, slidable displays, and everything else
The stage at Intel Innovation keynote.

Intel's Innovation 2022 keynote has just ended, headlined by Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger. The live event was full of some big announcements, tech demos, and smaller updates to Intel's new vision for the future of its company -- all punctuated by the awkward moments of live tech events I've come to miss in the past couple of years.

The event comes just a week after Nvidia's divisive GTC event, and the same day as the launch of AMD's Ryzen 7000 chips. PC hardware launch season is definitely here, and these announcements show Intel's side of the story.
13th-gen Raptor Lake has officially launched

Read more
What is an eSIM? Here’s everything you need to know
Guide to the eSIM

The humble SIM card has survived for quite a while, but it's no longer used in modern, premium phones. Instead, manufacturers incorporate embedded SIMs, or eSIMs, to identify your device to carriers. Pay-as-you-go services like Straight Talk still use tried-and-true SIM cards, but it's becoming increasingly common to find your phone now comes with an eSIM rather than a physical SIM card.

But what is an eSIM? Here, we explain what an eSIM is and how it's different from a removable SIM card.
What is a SIM card?
This is the more familiar solution of the two. It's a Subscriber Identity Module that sits in a special tray and slides into a device like a drawer. It's typically supplied by a carrier and programmed with account information, like your phone number and security keys, to identify and authenticate you on your carrier's network. SIM cards can also store contacts and SMS messages, although these features are rarely used as today's smartphones are much more powerful.

Read more
Asus launches an Intel HX business laptop — and it looks like a beast
The ExpertBook B6 on a mixing board.

Asus has announced three new devices in its ExpertBook line of business laptops during the IFA tech conference, including a non-gaming laptop that uses Intel's 12th-gen HX processors.

The laptop in question is the ExpertBook B6 Flip, which the brand describes as a mobile workstation, intended for power users and professionals including architects, engineers, and product designers.

Read more