Intel Issues Product Discontinuance Schedule for Gemini Lake Processors

Intel Gemini Lake low power processors based on Goldmont Plus architecture were announced in 2017 as successors of Apollo Lake family with the official launch in 2018 fairly quickly followed by a supply shortage… But the processors have still been used in plenty of sub-$250 mini PCs, and some SBCs like ODROID-H2 or ODYSSEY-X86J4105, as well as a few laptops.

More recently, the company announced Gemini Lake Refresh family, but to my surprise, Intel has already issued several product discontinuance notices for the several Gemini Lake (Refresh) processors.

Gemini Lake Product Discontinuance

Affected Gemini Lake processors include:

  • PCN117653-00
    • Intel Celeron J4005, J4105, J4115
    • Intel Celeron N4000, N4100
  • PCN117657-00
    • Intel Celeron Processor N4000C
    • Intel Pentium Silver J5005, Intel Pentium Silver N5000

Intel has two end-of-life notifications because the schedule is slightly different:

  • PCN117653-00
    • Product Discontinuance Program Support Begins: July 6, 2020
    • Product Discontinuance Demand To Local Intel Representative: October 9, 2020
    • Last Corporate Assurance Product Critical Date: January 11, 2021
    • Last Product Discontinuance Order Date: January 22, 2021
    • Orders are Non-Cancelable and Non-Returnable After: January 22, 2021
    • Last Product Discontinuance Shipment Date: July 9, 2021
  •  PCN117657-00
    • Product Discontinuance Program Support Begins – July 6, 2020
    • Last Corporate Assurance Product Critical Date – October 9, 2020
    • Last Product Discontinuance Order Date – October 23, 2020
    • Orders are Non-Cancelable and Non-Returnable After – October 23, 2020
    • Last Product Discontinuance Shipment Date – April 2, 2021

That gives plenty of time for manufacturers to request for more supply, and even after end-of-life of those Gemini Lake processors. It may still be an issue for people wanting long term support. For example, Hardkernel recently switched from Intel Celeron J4105 in ODROID-H2 to Intel Celeron J4115 “Refresh” in ODROID-H2+, but both are being phased out. So if you expected to purchase ODROID-H2(+) boards beyond 2021 it may become an issue depending on how much stock Hardkernel is ready to have.

What’s surprising about this product discontinuance is that the successor of Goldmont Plus architecture, Tremont architecture has not found its way into other low-cost processors yet, and only Intel Core i3/-5 Lakefield processors. So either we should expect an announcement about Elkhart Lake processors soon, or Intel has decided to drop the low-power, low-cost – and likely low margin – mini PC market. I remember a few years ago, when it was easy to find Intel mini PCs for less than $100, but recently it’s been close to impossible with starting price closer to $150. If Intel decides to go away with “Atom-class” Celeron/Pentium processor, the low-cost Intel mini PC/SBC market will be closer to $300. Hopefully, it won’t happen, as an Elkhart Lake processor has been spotted in 3DMark benchmark last May.

Via Anandtech, and thanks to Linuxium for the tip.

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9 Replies to “Intel Issues Product Discontinuance Schedule for Gemini Lake Processors”

  1. If this is the start of the end to the Atom line then that’s a shame. I’ve been using Atoms as low power servers since the first Atom 330. They have had the right price / performance / power / io and expansion balance of any chip line.

    1. They still are going to make Celeron and Pentium Processors. Just like you cant find Celeron N3050 on newer laptops, you wont be able to find the N4100 but they will launch newer processors in the future. Probably using new architectures and/or nodes

  2. Trust Intel to make more crappy decisions, even in the low power segment.
    Raspberry Pi sold millions of low price SBCs and made a profit, while Intel sold a few high priced NUCs and lost money.

    1. Broadcom basically looked in their spare parts drawer and picked whatever they had for the raspberry pi.

      Intel still has the J4125,4025 and similar in the N series. This cut is probably more to cope with supply issues as last I heard their 10nm process was a mess. They also just announced Lakefield last month, so they might be wanting to try and push people that direction as well.

      1. > Intel still has the J4125,4025 and similar in the N series

        The main problem is that they have more product references than they have customers. Have you looked at Ark ? These days there are so many CPUs that it’s hard to figure the difference between many of them and it sounds like they build them on demand for one customer. This must have a cost, and while their production chains are busy cramming Celeron wafers, they don’t make core i7 or Xeons. Better make less of them, less distinct frequencies and core counts and have the customers choose between what exists. It’s not as if it were an issue anymore with cpufreq and configurable TDP.

  3. Intel really doesn’t know where it is going.

    When they do enter the lower end of the market, despite early hope, they omit the most basic of useful functionalities (basic CEC took ages to come long) and then no adoption of HDR.

    Then, as the article states, pricing at the budget end becomes anything but budget.

    They need new management because the way things are going, ARM at one end and AMD at the other are going to gradually squeeze them rather tightly.

  4. Wait, are they discontinuing J4115, a processor they released a year ago? nonsense. This is really fishy, there’s something under the hood, for sure.

    Anyways, it does not matter as AMD is going to literally crush Intel in this range as well.

    1. >This is really fishy, there’s something under the hood, for sure.

      Or maybe it just didn’t sell well enough and it’s not economical to produce it when they already have capacity issues… or maybe the illuminati is involved? I guess that would make more sense.

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