Basic Knowledge of Industrial Computers (CPU/Chipset)

Intel CPU and chipset (Processor/chipset for IoT applications and embedded devices)

The CPU (Central Processing Unit) and chipset are the core components driving the basic performance of industrial computers. The CPU and chipset are always used in conjunction with one another. The CPU is responsible for processing information on the computer, while the primary role of the chipset is to manage computer devices and communicate information to the CPU. Previously chipsets were made up of a two-chip configuration consisting of the northbridge chip (MCH; memory controller hub) and the southbridge chip (ICH; I/O controller hub). Nowadays, the northbridge chip is integrated with the CPU, and the southbridge chip has been renamed the platform controller hub (PCH). This single chip is now referred to as a chipset. This evolution has resulted in this configuration being referred to as a chipset despite the fact that it is a single chip configuration. CPUs used in power-saving embedded computers also possess integrated chipset functionality. As the system is incorporated into a single chip it is called an SoC (System on Chip).

Up to Intel 4 series ICH10

Intel 5 series or later

Sixth generation Skylark-U and later U-series processors
BayTrail and later Atom / Celeron N/J

Processor/chipset for IoT applications and embedded devices and supply periods

The Supplemental Information section of the Intel product specifications page ( in separate window) includes a field on embedded options (Embedded Options Available). Processors (CPUs) with this field marked “Yes” are defined as processors for IoT applications and embedded devices, and will be supplied by Intel for over 10 years (the exact length to be determined based on changes in generation) from their launch date. This also applies to chipsets.

Processor/chipset use conditions

The quality level of Intel processors and chipsets is determined under use conditions. Quality levels vary somewhat based on the operating temperature range, active rate, and other factors, but are broadly as follows.

Quality level Use conditions

  • Automotive
  • Industrial
  • Communications
  • Embedded Broad Market
  • PC/Client/Tablet
  • Workstation

Operating temperature range of the processor/chipset

One specification for Intel processors and chipsets is the operating temperature range. This is listed as the “Embedded Broad Market Extended Temp” in use conditions, which refers to products used for embedded applications with an extended operating temperature range from the “Commercial” level.

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