Intel announced their Joule Compute Module yesterday, but did not provide that many details about the new Intel Atom T5500 and T5700 processors used in the module. Liliputing got some more details with slides from an IDF16 presentation entitled “Accelerating Innovation With Next-Generation Intel® Atom™ Processor-Based Platform” that now require authentication for download, but we have the most important slide already starting with the block diagram.
Intel Atom T5500 and T5700 SoC are both quad core Atom x7 processor, but they are based on Intel Goldmont architecture, as used in Celeron & Pentium Apollo Lake processor to be featured in laptop and mini PCs, and embed a newer 18EU Intel Gen9 graphics and media GPU with Quick Sync technology for 4K video encoding and decoding using H.265, H.264, and VP9/VP8 codecs. They also feature various peripherals and features that you’d expected in an IoT processor including:
- a Sensor Hub processor
- a Power management unit
- HDMI video output, MIPI DSI display interface
- I2S audio
- USB 3.0 and 2.0 ports
- PCI Express
- I2C, UART, PWM, and GPIOs
- Up to 6x MIPI CSI cameras
- eMMC 5.0 and SDIO 3.0 storage support
- LPDDR4 CoPoP memory
They did not integrated WiFi and Bluetooth inside the chip, but instead relying on the PCI Express interface to add wireless modules such as Intel WCS8270, and the USB 3.0 interface may be used to interface with the upcoming Intel Realsense ZR300 camera for 3D depth sensing.
While Intel Atom x5 processors are used in tablet and mini PCs, and the new Atom T5500/T5700 processors target high end IoT and robotics applications, the company still compared the performance of both processors, and T5700 is 41 to 56% faster in their estimation of the scores in three benchmarks (SPECint single & multi-threaded, and GFXbench 3.0 – T-Rex). For a given power budget, performance is also shown to be greater in T5x00 processors.
Prices will likely be significantly higher, as Intel probably left the mobile market due to razor thin margins, and while the technical specifications would allow Atom T5x00 processors to find their ways into tablets, 2-in-1 hybrid laptops, and mini PCs, this should not be expected.