vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
facebook rss twitter

Intel officially ends Tick-Tock era

by Mark Tyson on 23 March 2016, 09:31

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaczll

Add to My Vault: x

Over recent months, in various Intel processor news articles, we have been wondering what happened to the Intel 'Tick-Tock' development process. Recent and new roadmaps from Intel seem to have lost their solid simplicity. The industrious chipmaker once reliably released new chips with defined improvements; with the Tick (process) and the Tock (architecture) refinements included in turn. However more recently we have seen an added Refresh (Haswell) and Intel's next new chip, Kaby Lake, will also be a Refresh or 'Semi-Tock' chip.

Adjusting the metronome

If Intel really is going to make a habit of this it doesn't want to disappoint investors with uncomfortable language such as Refresh and Semi-Tock, these terms could imply a missed target. At the very least, such terms imply things aren't ticking along like clockwork. So it's not surprising to see Intel enshrine the way things will be, going forward, into a new three part phrase that neatly reflects its computer chip industry reality. The new metronomic triplet to which Intel will produce its processors is 'Process-Architecture-Optimization' according to an official company filing uncovered by Motley Fool.

Above you can see how Intel will refine its processor tech from now onwards. The upcoming Kaby Lake will be an 'Optimization' step, the third step of the new methodology. In its K10 filing Intel says Kaby Lake will have "key performance advancements as compared to [its] 6th generation Core processor family".

Throwing out the old Tick-Tock model for a new three step one might be better for Intel in managing investor and wider market expectations. However it might have to massage its roadmap once more in the face of competition from foundries like TSMC and tech giants like Samsung pushing towards 7nm with great haste.



HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
So more of a hop, skip and jump!
Interesting. I wonder if they feel less pressure from AMD as the last few years they have been behind performance wise.
or perhaps. Tic.. Tac.. Toe. So Kady Lake is the 1st on this new process, Since its just an optimse of whats already there
Sprite
Interesting. I wonder if they feel less pressure from AMD as the last few years they have been behind performance wise.

They feel pressure from all over, ARM chips are getting rather good for things like ChromeBooks which are selling rather well. I think this just reflects the reality that process improvements are getting harder.

Jace007
or perhaps. Tic.. Tac.. Toe. So Kady Lake is the 1st on this new process, Since its just an optimse of whats already there

No, Haswell refresh was the first, tick tock has been proken for years. Even before then, the process improvement “ticks” had quite a lot of optimisation in them so weren't the pure tick that Intel made them out to be.

But overall I think this is just sleight of hand. Intel has lost most of their process lead to Samsung and TSMC, and I suspect they are taking a punt so they don't care about that. If Intel can crack 5nm using something other than CMOS on Silicon, then they are way out ahead again.
So a new chipset and refresh of the last gen CPU followed by a new chip and another refresh.

Tic, Tock, Tic, Tic, Tock, Tic.

Needs more Tock or less chipsets.