For developers interested in alternatives to the Intel® Joule™ platform (discontinued), learn how the Intel® Joule™ platform compares to some of the latest embedded platforms from Intel (formerly codenamed Apollo Lake). We cover feature comparison, design considerations and then a comparison of the Intel® Joule™ Developer Kit with the latest IoT developer kit from Intel (UP Squared* Grove* Development Kit).
Developers looking for general guidance on how the Intel® Joule™ module compares to some of the latest embedded platforms from Intel (formerly codenamed Apollo Lake).
Below is a comparison of features between the Intel® Joule™ module and embedded processor products formerly codenamed Apollo Lake.
|Product Name ||Intel® Joule™ 550x or 570x modules ||Intel® Celeron® and Pentium® processors ||Intel Atom® processor E3900 series |
|Codename ||Broxton ||Apollo Lake ||Apollo Lake |
|Status ||Launched ||Launched ||Announced |
|Recommended Customer Pricing ||discontinued (was priced at $149 - $159 or $199 - $209) ||$107 or $161 ||n/a |
|Processor Number ||n/a ||N3350; N4200 ||E3930; E3940; E3950 |
|CPU cores ||4 ||2 or 4 ||2 or 4 |
|Processor Base Frequency ||1.5 or 1.7 GHz ||1.1 GHz ||1.3 or 1.6 GHz |
|Burst frequency ||2.4 GHz on 570x ||2.4 or 2.5 GHz ||1.8 or 2.0 GHz |
|Max Memory Size ||3 or 4 GB ||8 GB ||8 GB |
|Memory Types ||LPDDR4 ||DDR3L/LPDDR3 or LPDDR4 ||DDR3L (ECC and Non ECC) or LPDDR4 |
|Flash memory ||8 or 16 GB eMMC || ||Up to 64GB eMMC |
|Cache ||1MB ||2 MB ||2 MB |
|# of USB Ports ||1 or 2 USB 3.0 ||8 (6 USB 3.0) ||8 (6 USB 3.0) |
|Total # of SATA Ports ||0 ||2 ||2 |
|Max # of PCI Express Lanes ||0 or 1 ||6 ||6 |
|Graphics Output ||HDMI 1.4B and MIPI-DSI (1x4) ||eDP/DP/HDMI*/MIPI-DSI ||eDP/DP/HDMI/MIPI-DSI |
|Processor Graphics ||Intel® HD Graphics, gen 9 ||Intel® HD Graphics 500 or 505 ||Intel® HD Graphics 500 or 505 |
|OS ||Windows® 10 IoT Core; Ubuntu; Reference Linux* OS for IoT ||Linux*; Windows® 10 Enterprise ||Windows® 10 Enterprise; Windows® 10 IoT Core; Wind River Linux*, VxWorks*; Android* |
|Intel® High Definition Audio (Intel® HD Audio) Technology ||No ||Yes ||Yes |
|Operating temperature range ||0°C to 70°C || |
0°C to 70°C
-40°C to 85°C
Extended temperature range for industrial applications
|Power Delivery ||PMIC ||PMIC / discrete voltage regulator (VR) |
|Sleep states ||S0ix ||S0ix, S3, S4, S5 ||S0ix, S3, S4, S5 |
|Security Features ||Intel® AES New Instructions (Intel® AES-NI) ||Intel® Trusted Execution Engine (Intel® TXE); Intel® AES-NI ||Intel® TXE; Intel® AES-NI |
|Package Size ||24mm x 48mm ||24mm x 31mm ||24mm x 31mm |
This section presents design considerations for developers who are interested in alternative platforms to the Intel® Joule™ module. You may be a developer interested in transitioning from the Intel® Joule™ platform to the latest embedded processor products from Intel to take advantage of new features. Or you may have been considering developing with the Intel® Joule™ module but now that it has been discontinued, must choose another platform to develop on. We outline below important design considerations for both kinds of developers. Here we focus on comparing the Intel® Joule™ platform to the Atom® processor E3900 series.
- Form factor
The Intel Atom® processor E3900 series (formerly codenamed Apollo Lake) board area will probably increase because of a larger SoC package size, larger Power Management IC (PMIC) and Voltage Regulator (VR) solution space, and memory down (i.e. not package-on-package).
- Performance Differences
Lower operating frequencies on latest generation of Intel Atom® processor E3900 series, smaller cache size per core pair (e.g. 2MB vs 1MB) may affect performance. Memory configuration differences may have an impact since Intel Atom® processor E3900 series have higher peak BW, but lower transfer rate.
- I/O Interface Limitations
Intel Atom® processor E3900 series supports a single LPSS SPI port, compared to Joule’s two LPSS SPI ports; The Intel® Joule™ module supports USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 OTG while the Intel Atom® processor E3900 series supports USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 dual-role (it does not support OTG).
- Completing design regulatory testing
A design with the Intel Atom® processor E3900 series will need to go through various types of emissions certifications, safety certifications, and environmental certifications.
- Driver Compatibility
Register compatibility and I/O location compatibility from an Intel® Joule™ module to an Intel Atom® processor E3900 series may require driver changes.
- Additional Features of the Intel Atom® processor E3900 series
The Intel Atom® processor E3900 series has some new features and interfaces over Intel® Joule™ modules. Taking advantage of these interfaces and features may extend design and validation time of a migration, when compared to a situation where no new features are added.
- Wireless Technology
There is no integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth® on the Intel Atom® processor E3900 series.
- Power Management
Intel® Joule™ module does not support traditional PC sleep states (S3 , S4, S5), while the Intel Atom® processor E3900 series does.
Comparison with the latest IoT Developer Kit from Intel
Below is a table comparing the features of the Intel® Joule™ module with the latest IoT Developer Kit from Intel, the UP Squared* Grove* IoT Development Kit.
| ||Intel® Joule™ 550x Developer Kit ||UP Squared* Grove* IoT Development Kit |
|Type ||Computer on a module ||Single board computer |
|Price ||discontinued (was ~$250) ||Starting from $249 |
|Processor family ||Intel® Atom™ ||Intel® Celeron® |
|Codename ||Broxton ||Apollo Lake |
|Processor model || || |
|Processor frequency ||1.7 GHz ||1.1 GHz |
|Processor boost frequency ||2.4 GHz ||2.4 GHz |
|Processor cores ||4 ||2 |
|64-bit computing ||Yes ||Yes |
|Maximum internal memory ||3 or 4 GB ||2 GB |
|eMMC ||Yes ||Yes |
|Ports and Interfaces |
|Wi-Fi ||Yes ||No |
|Bluetooth ||Yes ||No |
|HDMI ||Yes ||Yes |
|SATA ||No ||Yes |
|Mini PCIe* ||No ||Yes |
|M.2 ||No ||Yes |
|Raspberry Pi* header || |
|Board and Dimensions |
|Carrier board ||Mandatory. Cost for an Intel development carrier board is around $100 ||Not required |
|Board dimensions ||24 x 48 mm ||86.5 x 90mm |
|Sensors and power supply included ||No ||Yes |
|Linux operating systems supported ||Ubuntu* 16.04, Ubuntu Core ||Ubuntu 16.04 (pre-installed) |
Support for Arduino Create* and Intel® System Studio 2018
|No ||Yes |
|On-board graphics ||Intel® HD Graphics, Gen9 ||Intel® HD Graphics 500, Gen9 |
The Intel® Joule™ module, now discontinued, was a compact yet powerful modular device that included wireless and video capabilities. The feature comparison and design considerations sections of this paper served as general guidance for developers interested in alternatives to the Intel® Joule™ platform. And the last section presented the UP Squared* Grove* IoT Development Kit as a complete kit alternative to the Intel® Joule™ platform.
For developers not interested in the kit alternative and instead plan on selecting an individual processor product, please note that you may need to work with a hardware vendor to create a custom board. However, there are some alternate products (modular in nature) available through the Solutions Directory from Intel to consider: