Intel Core, Atom, Celeron and Pentium processors target IoT

  • September 30, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

At this month’s Intel Industrial Summit, the tech giant announced enhanced IoT capabilities with processors to increase performance, artificial intelligence (AI) and security.

The 11th-generation Intel Core processors, Atom x6000E series, and Pentium and Celeron N and J series bring AI, security, functional safety and real-time capabilities to edge users.

With a robust hardware and software portfolio, ecosystem and 15,000 customer deployments globally, Intel is providing robustness for the $65bn edge silicon market opportunity by 2024.

“By 2023, up to 70% of all enterprises will process data at the edge,” said John Healy, Intel vice president. “Eleventh-gen Intel Core processors, Intel Atom x6000E series, and Intel Pentium and Celeron N and J series processors represent our most significant step forward yet in enhancements for IoT, bringing features that address our customers’ current needs, while setting the foundation for capabilities with advancements in AI and 5G.”

Intel works closely with its customers to build proofs of concept, optimise products and services, and collect feedback along the way. Innovations delivered with these latest processors are a response to challenges felt across the IoT industry such as edge complexity, total cost of ownership and a range of environmental conditions.

Combining a common and seamless developer experience with software and tools such as the Edge Software Hub’s Edge Insights for Industrial and its distribution of the OpenVino toolkit, Intel says it is helping developers get to market faster and deliver more powerful outcomes with optimised, containerised packages to enable sensing, vision, automation and other transformative edge applications.

For example, when combined with SuperFin technology process improvements and other enhancements, OpenVino running on an 11th-generation Core i5 processor delivers AI performance with up to two times faster inferences per second than a prior eighth-generation Core i5-8500 processor when running on just the CPU in each product.

Building on the recently announced client processors, the 11th-generation Core is enhanced for essential IoT applications that require high-speed processing, computer vision and low-latency deterministic computing. It delivers up to a 23% performance gain in single-thread performance, a 19% gain in multithread performance and up to a 2.95x performance gain in graphics generation on generation.

New dual-video decode boxes allow the processor to ingest up to 40 simultaneous video streams at 1080p 30 frames per second and output up to four channels of 4K or two channels of 8K video. AI-inferencing algorithms can run on up to 96 graphic execution units or run on the CPU with vector neural network instructions built in.

With Intel’s TCC time coordinated computing and TSN time-sensitive networking technologies, the processors enable real-time computing demands while delivering deterministic performance across a variety of use cases:

  • Industrial sector: Mission-critical control systems (PLC, robotics and so on), industrial PCs and human-machine interfaces.
  • Retail, banking and hospitality: Intelligent, immersive digital signage, interactive kiosks and automated checkout.
  • Healthcare: Medical imaging devices with high-resolution displays and AI-powered diagnostics.
  • Smart city: Smart network video recorders with on-board AI inferencing and analytics.

The processors already have more than 90 partners committed to delivering products.

The Atom x6000E and Pentium and Celeron N and J processors represent Intel’s first processor platform enhanced for the IoT. They deliver enhanced real-time performance and efficiency, up to two times better 3D graphics, a dedicated real-time offload engine, Intel’s programmable services engine that supports out-of-band and in-band remote device management, enhanced IO and storage options, and integrated 2.5Gbit Ethernet time-sensitive networking.

They can support 4Kp60 resolution on up to three simultaneous displays, meet strict functional safety requirements with the Intel Safety Island and include built-in hardware-based security. These processors have a variety of use cases, including:

  • Industrial: Real-time control systems and devices that meet functional safety requirements for industrial robots and for chemical, oil field and energy grid-control applications.
  • Transportation: Vehicle controls, fleet monitoring and management systems that synchronise inputs from multiple sensors and direct actions in semiautonomous buses, trains, ships and lorries.
  • Healthcare: Medical displays, carts, service robots, entry-level ultrasound machines, gateways and kiosks that require AI and computer vision with reduced energy consumption.
  • Retail and hospitality: Fixed and mobile point-of-sale systems for retail and fast-food outlets with high-resolution graphics.

The Atom x6000E and Pentium and Celeron N and J series already have more than 100 partners committed to delivering products.