Intel Updates Apollo Lake: More LPC Reliability Issues

Earlier last week Intel quietly refreshed all Apollo Lake-based Celeron and Pentium CPUs. Those processors are based on the company low-power Goldmont microarchitecture. All B1 stepping dies will be transitioning to an F1 stepping. Intel stated it has identified an issue with the Low Pin Count (LPC), Real Time Clock (RTC), and SD Card interfaces on those CPUs “resulting in degradation of these signals at a rate higher than Intel’s quality goals after multiple years in service.” Apollo Lake Celeron and Pentium CPUs are part of Intel’s Internet of Things Group (IOTG) and come with an extended 15-year production availability.

The new updated SKUs have identical names to the previous SKUs but will be suffixed with an ‘E’. It’s worth noting that Intel is also officially retiring the ‘E’ suffix from the model numbers from IOTG SKUs. In Q4 2019 through Q1 2020, Intel will re-map all the F1 stepping SKUs to their respective non-‘E’ SKUs.


Affected Apollo Lake SKUs
Model CPU iGPU
C/T Base Turbo GPU Base Turbo
Celeron N3350(E) 2/2 1.1 GHz 2.4 GHz HD Graphics 500 200 MHz 650 MHz
Celeron N4200(E) 4/4 1.1 GHz 2.5 GHz HD Graphics 505 200 MHz 750 MHz
Celeron J3355(E) 2/2 2.0 GHz 2.5 GHz HD Graphics 500 250 MHz 700 MHz
Celeron J3455(E) 4/4 1.5 GHz 2.3 GHz HD Graphics 500 250 MHz 750 MHz

History of Problems

This isn’t the first time Intel had issues with the LPC bus. Last year the company transitioned all their Atom E3800-series (Bay Trail) processors from D0 stepping to D1 stepping citing circuit design issues with the LPC bus degradation. More famously, Intel suffered a major circuit degradation problem with their entire Atom C2000 SoC line which has forced companies such as Cisco to replace many of their products.

Source: Intel PCN 117143-00.

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