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Intel will upgrade low-cost PCs with ‘Apollo Bay’ chips later this year

Intel revealed during this week’s Intel Developer Forum taking place in Shenzhen, China, that a new generation of Celeron and Pentium processors are slated to arrive in the second half of 2016. Code-named “Apollo Bay,” these chips will offer better performance on the CPU and graphics fronts than previous generations along with low power consumption, enabling longer battery life.

The announcement of Apollo Lake was made by Navin Shenoy, corporate vice president and general manager of Intel’s Client Computing Group, during his keynote at the Intel Developer Forum. He said that the company has already over 100 design wins based on the Apollo Lake processors, but didn’t reveal any technical specifics, only that Apollo Lake follows Cherry Trail (Atom X5 series) and Braswell (Celeron and Pentium) products.

The new Celeron and Pentium processors will be based on Intel’s new, low-power “Goldmont” CPU architecture. The existing Celeron and Pentium N3000 “Braswell” processors are based on an older “Airmont” architecture, and are used in low-end laptops and Chromebooks. The new chips will appear in low-cost laptops and desktops later this year.

Previous rumors pegged the chips with support for USB Type-C ports, 4K displays, and eMMC 5.0-based solid state drives. The chips will supposedly feature Intel HD graphics based on “Skylake” graphics, and will be fabricated using 14nm process technology.

The new Goldmont architecture is slated to appear in upcoming Atom processors as well, used in “Morganfield” chips for smartphones and tablets, and “Willow Trail” processors for high-end tablets. These chips have four cores, four threads, and clock speeds of up to 2.7GHz.

Although Intel hasn’t released any details regarding Apollo Bay, the chips will obviously not be as robust in features as Intel’s standard Core chips, which are based on the much more advanced Skylake architecture.

Intel’s Apollo Lake is billed as Intel’s next-generation “value” platform, and the company will be providing a master reference design to manufacturers in the China Tech Ecosystem (CTE) soon. That said, we expect to hear more about the new Celeron and Pentium processors during Computex 2016 taking place in Taipei from May 31 to June 4.

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