Posts Tagged ‘intel’

Intel Atom x7-Z8700 (Cherry Trail) vs Intel Celeron N3150 (Braswell) Benchmarks Comparison

June 6th, 2016 5 comments

Intel tend to release lots of processors, and it’s not also clear how they perform against each others, but generally the rank from slowest to highest goes something like Atom < Celeron < Pentium < Core M < Core i3 < Core i5 < Core i7. Recently, I’ve seen and reviewed a few low power Intel Atom x7-Z8700 “Cherry Trail” and Intel Celeron N3150 “Braswell” mini PCs, both quad core processors @ 1.6 GHz (base), and I could not find much differences between the two during use.


So to have a clear and objective view of the relative performance of the two processors, I’ve compared the results I got with Intel Atom x7-Z8700 based Beelink BT7 mini PC to the ones I got with MINIX NGC-1 mini PC powered by Celeron N3150 processor in the table below. Both machines have been designed quite well (good heat dissipation) and with storage devices having similar performance. A ratio greater than one (green) means the Celeron processor is faster, and if it is lower than one (red) the Atom processor prevails.

Benchmark Beelink BT7
Intel Atom x7-Z8700 @ 1.6 GHz / 2.48 Ghz (Turbo)
Intel Celeron N3150 @ 1.6 GHz / 2.08 GHz (Turbo)
PCMark 8 Accelerated
Overall Score 1,509 1,492 0.99
Web Browsing – JunglePin 0.59309s 0.63426s 0.94
Web Browsing – Amazonia 0.19451s 0.2141s 0.91
Writing 8.53975s 9.3966s 0.91
Casual Gaming 7.96 fps 9.7 fps 1.22
Video Chat playback 29.99 fps 30.01 fps 1.00
Video Chat encoding 301 ms 193.333 ms 1.56
Photo Editing 0.65544s 0.81038s 0.81
Passmark 8
Passmark Rating 846 781.9 0.92
Ice Storm 1.2 23,999 23,032 0.96
Cloud Gate 1.1 2,185 1,961 0.90
Sky Diver 1.0 1,131 1,108 0.98
Fire Strike 276 258 0.93

So in the end, both processors have a very close performance, except for video chat encoding where the Atom processor is about 56% slower than the Celeron processor. The Atom’s 16 EU GPU @ 200/600 MHz is faster than the Celeron’s 12 EU GPU @ 300/640 MHz in most case, but only marginally. Both SoCs are capable of decoding 4K videos with H.264 and H.265 video codecs. Systems based on the Intel Axom x7-Z8700 processor could consume less electricity as Atom x7 has a 2W SDP, while Celeron N3150 a 4W SDP, but the  power consumption of a complete mini PC also depends on its overall design.

So there seems to be very little to gain by purchasing a system with Celeron N3150 “Braswell” processor  over one with a Atom x7 “Cherry Trail processor, if a mini PC matches your requirements. One noticeable advantage of Braswell processors should be Linux support with the default/standard ISO images, while Atom x7 systems currently require community hacked ISO images for support of features such as HDMI audio, WiFi and Bluetooth. You can also find a side-by-side comparison of the features of the two processor on Intel website.

Intel Cancels Low Cost Atom Broxton & SoFia SoCs

April 30th, 2016 11 comments

Intel has recently announced it would lay off 11% of its workforce, and has now decided to kill plans for Atom Broxton, successor of Intel Cherry Trail processor, as well as low cost SoFia smartphone SoCs. That’s not really surprising as Intel was reported to have very small margins, or even to subsidy, low cost Intel based smartphones, and mini PCs. Rockchip/Intel Sofia SoC has never been popular with only a handful of smartphones and tablets launched in the last year.

Intel_Atom_Broxton_Sofia_KilledNevertheless, we’ve had it good with $70 Bay Trail TV sticks, and $85 Cherry Trail mini PCs, and Intel is still manufacturing and selling those parts. But in the future, it might not be possible to buy sub $100 mini PCs or tablets with the latest Intel processors, as the company is now focusing on higher margin processors with Intel Core M and Apollo Lake (succeeding Braswell).

More details and in-depth analysis of the announcement can be found on Liliputing and Anandtech.

Categories: Intel Atom Tags: intel, smartphone, sofia

Mini PCs and Cloudbooks Powered by Intel Apollo Lake Pentium and Celeron Processors, Successors of Braswell SoCs, are Expected in H2 2016

April 16th, 2016 3 comments

Intel released a presentation entitled “Design Considerations and Reference Designs for Entry, Value and Mainstream PCs” at IDF 2016 Shenzhen, explaining the company vision about low power laptops and mini PCs. At the core of those devices will be “Apollo Lake” Pentium and Celeron Processors with 6 to 10W TDP replacing Braswell processors with better CPU and graphics performance, lower power consumption, and low overall BoM cost.

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Beside mini PCs, the processors will also find their way into what Intel calls Cloudbooks, some sort of laptops with 2 to 4GB RAM, 32 to 64GB storage, no hard drive, and displays whose size ranges from 11.6″ to 14″. So it looks like Cloudbooks may be the new Netbooks, with better performance and larger displays.

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Cost savings on the mainboard are achieved thanks to the integration of many features (Signal Processor, SD Card bridge chip, Spead Spectrum Clock…), low power consumption leading to smaller batteries, the ability to load the BIOS/UEFI to the eMMC instead of an SPI flash, etc…

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The savings appear to be small, but bear in mind that those are for the bills of materials, so the retail price savings may be two to three times higher.

Intel also unveiled a Cloudbook reference design with the complete BoM which show what we may expect later this year, as OEM/ODM manufacturers are likely to take the easy way at first, by simply copying Intel reference design, possibly by removing some of the features in the processor.Apollo_Lake_Reference_Design_BoM_Part1

Apollo_Lake_Reference_Design_BoM_Part2That means Apollo Lake Cloudbooks with a 11.6″ full HD display, 32 to 64 GB storage, 4GB RAM, 802.11ac WiFi , and USB type C connector should be expected in the second part of 2016.


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Via Liliputing and some Google searches…

Intel Compute Stick STK2mv64CC Powered by Core m5-6Y57 vPro Processor is Up for Pre-order for $485

April 16th, 2016 4 comments

Intel announced five new Computer Sticks at the beginning of the year, and so far 4 have been launched, and the Intel Core m3 have been benchmarked showing about to double the performance compared to the Cherry Trail versions, but the most powerful model based on Core m5 had yet to be launched. The news is that if you have some spare cash, you can now pre-order Intel Compute Stick STK2mv64CC based on Core m5-6Y57 vPro processor for $485 on Amazon US with shipping scheduled for May 12, 2016.


That’s quite a steep price, so let’s see what you’d get for $500:

  • SoC – Intel Core m5-6Y57 vPro dual core/four thread processor @ 1.1 GHz/2.8GHz with Intel HD Graphics 515 @ 300MHz/900Mhz (4.5 W TDP, configurable to 3.5W and 7W)
  • System Memory – 4 GB DDR3L @ 1833MHz dual channel memory
  • Storage – 64 GB eMMC + micro SDXC v3.0 slot with UHS I-Support up to 128GB
  • Video & Audio Output – HDMI 1.4b with multi-channel audio output
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi up to 867 Mbps and Bluetooth 4.2 (via Intel Dual Band Wireless AC 8260)
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, and 2x USB 3.0 ports on power adapter.
  • Misc – Power button, security notch, TPM (STK2MV64CC  and STK2M364CC)
  • Power Supply – 5V/4A via USB type C power port
  • Dimensions – 114 mm x 38 mm x 12 mm

STK2mv64CC is sold with operating system, and ships with the 5V/4A power supply (which also includes 2x USB 3.0 ports), and an HDMI extension cable. Performance appears to be  only a little better compared to Core m3-6Y30 used in STK2M3W64CC (~$400 with Windows 10, ~$330 without), but the Core m5 processor supports Intel Vpro technology which makes it more suitable for the enterprise.

Thanks to Raymond for the tip.

Categories: Hardware, Intel Core M Tags: intel, mini pc, skylake

Intel Showcases Core m Compute Stick Prototype with RealSense Camera at IDF 2016 Shenzhen

April 15th, 2016 4 comments

Intel appears to be all-in with their Realsense technology at IDF 2016 Shenzhen, as together with RealSense Robotic Development Kit, the company is showcasing an Intel Core m “Skylake” TV Stick, based on similar hardware as STK2MV64CC Compute Stick with a Core m3 or m5 vPro processor, but adding a Realsense F200 3D depth camera and an array of microphones.

Intel_RealSense_TV_StickThe full specifications are not available, but we do know the stick also comes with one USB 3.0 ports, and a yellow USB 2.0 port which should be always-on, a micro USB port for power, and a micro HDMI port to connect the your TV. The stick is supposed to be placed on top of your TV so you’d then be able to control the user interface, play games, etc… using gestures, with potentially other applications made possible thanks to 3D depth sensing such as Windows Hello which allows you to sign-in without password.

Intel_Realsense_TV_Stick_USB_3.0_micro_USB_HDMINotebookItalia also reports that while Core m TV stick design where reserves to Intel’s own use so far, the company will release then so that OEM/ODM manufacturers can start offering their own Skylake TV sticks.

Intel RealSense Robotic Development Kit Features Atom x5 UP Board, Realsense R200 Depth Camera

April 14th, 2016 6 comments

An Intel Developer Forum is currently taking place in Shenzhen, China, which may explains why we have several Intel products announcements targeting developers such as the launch of Quark D2000 development board. Another product for makers and developers is Intel RealSense Robotic Development Kit combining Raspberry Pi like UP Board powered by Intel Atom x5-Z8350 processor with Intel RealSense camera (R200) in order to bring 3D / depth vision to robots.

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UP Board specifications have changed a little as the processor is now Z8350 instead of Z8300, and they now have a version with 4GB RAM used in the kit:

  • SoC – Intel Atom x5-Z8350 “Cherry Trail” quad core processor @ 1.44 GHz (Burst frequency: 1.92 GHz) with Intel Gen8 HD graphics
  • System Memory –  4GB DDR3L-1600
  • Storage – 32 GB eMMC flash
  • Video Output / Display – HDMI 1.4b, MIPI DSI/eDP interface
  • Audio I/O – HDMI, I2S
  • Connectivity – Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB – 4x USB 2.0 host ports, 2x USB 2.0 pin header, 1x micro USB 3.0 port
  • Camera – MIPI CSI up to 4MP
  • Expansion – 40-pin Raspberry Pi compatible header
  • Misc – Power button, RTC
  • Power Supply – 5V/3A via 5.5/2.1mm jack
  • Dimensions – 85.60 x 56.50 mm

The board will ships with Ubuntu Linux, but other operating systems such as Windows 10 and other Linux distributors are also supported. One of the USB 3.0 port is used to interface with R200 3D depth camera with the following features:

  • Depth Range – Up to 3-4 meters indoors, longer range outdoors
  • Depth / Infrared: 640 x480 resolution at 60 FPS
  • RGB: 1080p at 30 FPS
  • USB 3.0 port (required on host)
  • Dimensions – 130 mm x 20 mm x 7 mm

I could not find much information about the software side, but I assume this is likely supported by RealSense SDK.

The development kit is up for pre-order for $249.99 for resident of the United States, Canada, China, EU, and Japan only, and is expected to ship in June 2016. More details are available in the devkit page.

Thanks to Roi for the tip.

Intel Launches $15 Quark D2000 Arduino Compatible Board

April 14th, 2016 6 comments

Intel introduces three new Quark Micro-controllers last year, and I already experimented with Intel System Studio tools, quite similar to the Arduino IDE, and designed for hardware such as Intel Quark D1000 Customer Reference Board. So far the company had not released any boards available to the general public, but this has now changed since they’ve launched the “Intel Quark Microcontroller Developer Kit D2000”.


Intel Quark D2000 development board specifications:

  • MCU – Intel Quark D2000 32-bit processor Intel Pentium x86-compatible without x87 FPU @ 32 MHz with 8 KB SRAM, 32 KB instruction flash, 8 KB OTP flash and 4 KB OTP data flash
  • USB – 1x micro USB (JTAG) for power and programming/debugging
  • Sensors – 6-axis Accelerometer / magnetometer with temperature sensor (Bosch Sensortec BCM150)
  • Expansion options:
    • Arduino Uno compatible SIL sockets (3.3V IO only)
    • Booster pack compatible SIL headers (3.3V IO only)
  • Misc – Reset and user buttons, jumpers, RTC
  • Power Supply
    • External (2.5V – 5V) DC input via screw terminal
    • USB power (5V) via debug port
    • Coin cell battery (type CR2032 not supplied)
  • Dimensions – 8.4 x 5.7 cm
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The board can also be developed with Intel System Studio for Microcontrollers IDE with support for GCC 5.2.1, Intel-enhanced GDB 7.9, Integrated Performance Primitives for Microcontrollers 1.0, Floating Point Emulation library, sample applications, a BSP for the Intel Quark Microcontroller Software Interface (Intel QMSI)
OpenOCD 0.8.0, TinyCrypt 0.1.0, Python 2.7.10, and more. The IDE works in Linux 64-bit (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, and Fedora 21), and Windows 7/8.1/10 64-bit. All manufacturing and hardware design files have been released (Cadence Allegro), and documentation includes hardware and user’s guides.

The board can be purchased for $14.95 on Mouser, and you can visit Intel Quark Microcontroller D2000 product page for more details about the MCU and the development board, including all documentation.

Intel Core m3 Skylake Compute Stick Benchmarked, Tested with Ubuntu 16.04 and Chromium OS

March 29th, 2016 4 comments

Intel unveiled five new Compute Sticks for 2016, with two Cherry Trail models, and three Skylake Core M models namely STK2M3W64CC and STK2MV64CC based on Intel Core m3-6Y30 processor, as well as STK2MV64CC with a more powerful Core m5-6Y57 vPRO processor. Ian Morrison (Linuxium) managed to get an early sample of STK2M3W64CC running Windows 10 on 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, and posted some benchmarks, as well as results of his experimentations with Ubuntu and Chrome OS in the Intel section of G+ MINI PCs community and his own website.


He started by running some standard benchmarks in Windows 10 including CrystalDiskMark (storage performance), Passmark8, and 3DMark, and while the storage performance is underwhelming, the processor is clearly and noticeably faster than Braswell, and Cherry Trail processors in terms of CPU and GPU performance based on comparisons with  Tronsmart Ara X5 (x5-Z8300), Kangaroo Mobile Desktop (x5-Z8500), Voyo V3 (x7-Z8700), and Intel Braswell based  Intel NUC5CPYB/H NUC, and MINIX NGC-1.

Benchmarks vs Bay Trail and Cherry Trail Platforms

Benchmarks vs Bay Trail and Cherry Trail Platforms

The results of 3DMark Ice Storm 1.2 benchmark were divided by 20 for a more readable chart.

Ubuntu 16.04 on - Click to Enlarge

Ubuntu 16.04 on STK2M3W64CC Compute Stick  – Click to Enlarge

He also booted Ubuntu 16.04 daily build from micro SD card and an ISO image from Windows 10, and everything worked, including WiFi and HDMI audio, contrary to lower cost platforms. Chromium OS could also be booted from an ISO located in the eMMC in the Windows 10 partition.

Ian also gave an historical perspective of the progress made since the first HDMI TV stick (MK802) launched four years ago, by comparing the Phoronix benchmarks in Ubuntu 12.04 for MK802+ (Allwinner A10 Cortex A8 processor) and Ubuntu 16.04 for the latest Intel Compute Stick.

MK802_vs_Intel_Compute_StickMost results show at least 10 times more performance, and some up to 60 times faster (OpenSSL may use some hardware acceleration in the Intel platform), but  nobody should be surprised that a $399 device in 2016 performs way better than a $70 in 2012.

You can see how Ubuntu 16.04 performs in STK2M3W64CC – especially app loading times – in the video below.

STK2M364CC,  the version with Windows 10, should sell for $399,  and STK2m364CC, the one without OS, is shown for $366.85 on a US site. Neither are listed on Amazon US or Newegg yet, but you might be able to find a local reseller.