Tick-tock model

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Tick-tock was a model once used by chip manufacturer Intel Corporation to follow every change to the microarchitecture with a die shrink of the process technology, originally adopted in 2007. Every "tick" represented a shrinking of the process technology of the previous microarchitecture (sometimes introducing new instructions, as with Broadwell, released in late 2014) and every "tock" designated a new microarchitecture.[1] Every year to 18 months, there is expected to be one tick or tock.[2]

In 2014, Intel introduced an additional "Haswell Refresh" after a tock in form of a smaller update to the microarchitecture[3] though they did consider this a new generation. Subsequently in March 2016 in a Form 10-K report, Intel announced that it had deprecated the tick-tock cycle in favor of a three-step "process-architecture-optimization" model, under which three generations of processors will be produced with a single manufacturing process, adding an extra phase for each with a focus on optimization.[4] The first optimization of the Skylake architecture was Kaby Lake. Intel then went on to announce a second optimization Coffeelake[5] making a total of four generations at 14 nm.[6]

Intel believes that it will be possible to reach at least 7 nm, though it will perhaps require use of materials other than silicon such as indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) and graphene.[7]


8P/4P Server 4P/2P Server/WS Enthusiast/​WS Desktop Mobile
(new fabrica-
tion process)
65 nm P6, NetBurst Presler,
Cedar Mill,
2006-01-05 Presler Cedar Mill Yonah
(new micro-
Core Merom[8] 2006-07-27[9][10] Tigerton Woodcrest
Kentsfield Conroe Merom
Tick 45 nm Penryn 2007-11-11[11] Dunnington Harpertown Yorkfield Wolfdale Penryn
Tock Nehalem Nehalem 2008-11-17[12] Beckton Gainestown Bloomfield Lynnfield Clarksfield
Tick 32 nm Westmere 2010-01-04[13][14] Westmere-EX Westmere-EP Gulftown Clarkdale Arrandale
Tock Sandy Bridge Sandy Bridge 2011-01-09[15] (Skipped)[16] Sandy Bridge-EP Sandy Bridge-E Sandy Bridge Sandy Bridge-M
Tick 22 nm[17] Ivy Bridge 2012-04-29 Ivy Bridge-EX[18] Ivy Bridge-EP[18] Ivy Bridge-E[19] Ivy Bridge Ivy Bridge-M
Tock Haswell Haswell 2013-06-02 Haswell-EX Haswell-EP Haswell-E Haswell-DT[20]

Haswell-MB (notebooks)
Haswell-LP (ultrabooks)[20]

Refresh Haswell Refresh,
Devil's Canyon[21]
Tick 14 nm[17] Broadwell[22] 2014-09-05 Broadwell-EX [23] Broadwell-EP [23] Broadwell-E
Tock Skylake[22] Skylake[22] 2015-08-05[24] Skylake-EX Skylake-EP Skylake-X
Kaby Lake[28] 2017-01-03[29]
Coffee Lake 2H/2017[30]
Process 10 nm[31] Cannonlake 2018[32]
Architecture Icelake[27] Icelake[33] 2018
Optimization[27] Tigerlake[27] 2019
Process 7 nm[31]
Process 5 nm[31]

Atom Roadmap[34]
MID, Smartphone Tablet Netbook Nettop Embedded Server Communication CE
Tick 45 nm Bonnell 2008 Silverthorne N/A Diamondville Tunnel Creek & Stellarton N/A Sodaville
Tock 2010 Lincroft Pineview Groveland
Tick 32 nm Saltwell 2011 Medfield (Penwell & Lexington) & Clover Trail+ (Cloverview) Clover Trail (Cloverview) Cedar Trail (Cedarview) Unknown Centerton & Briarwood Unknown Berryville
Tick 22 nm Silvermont 2013 Merrifield (Tangier) [35] & Moorefield (Anniedale)[36] & Slayton Bay Trail-T (Valleyview) Bay Trail-M (Valleyview) Bay Trail-D (Valleyview) Bay Trail-I (Valleyview) Avoton Rangeley Unknown
Tick 14 nm[34] Airmont 2014 Binghamton & Riverton Cherry Trail-T (Cherryview) [37] Braswell [38] Denverton Cancelled Unknown Unknown
Tock Goldmont[39] 2016 Broxton Cancelled Broxton Cancelled
Apollo Lake
Apollo Lake Apollo Lake Unknown Denverton Unknown Unknown

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Intel Tick-Tock Model". Intel.com. Intel Corporation. 
  2. ^ "Intel tick-tock model". Intel.com. Intel Corporation. Retrieved 2014-11-02. A yearly product cadence moves the industry forward in a predictable fashion that can be planned in advance. 
  3. ^ "Intel Haswell Refresh Processors Codenamed Devil's Canyon - Launching in Mid 2014 With Unlocked Design and Improved TIM". Wccftech. 2014-03-20. Retrieved 2017-04-29. 
  4. ^ a b "Intel’s ‘Tick-Tock’ Seemingly Dead, Becomes ‘Process-Architecture-Optimization’". Anandtech.com. Retrieved 23 March 2016. 
  5. ^ "Intel Official News on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2017-04-29. 
  6. ^ "Intel's 8th-gen 'Coffee Lake' chips reuse 14nm process as other Core CPUs ease into new tech". PC World. Retrieved 2017-04-29. 
  7. ^ "Intel forges ahead to 10nm, will move away from silicon at 7nm". Ars Technica. 2015-02-23. 
  8. ^ Crothers, Brooke (2009-02-10). "Intel moves up rollout of new chips | Nanotech - The Circuits Blog". CNet.com. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  9. ^ "Intel CEO: Latest Platforms, Processors Form New Foundations For Digital Entertainment And Wireless Computing". Intel.com. Intel Corporation. 
  10. ^ "Intel Unveils World's Best Processor". Intel.com (Press release). Intel Corporation. 
  11. ^ "Intel Unveils 16 Next-Generation Processors, Including First Notebook Chips Built on 45nm Technology". Intel.com (Press release). Intel Corporation. January 7, 2008. 
  12. ^ "Intel Launches Fastest Processor on the Planet". Intel.com (Press release). Intel Corporation. November 17, 2008. 
  13. ^ Bohr, Mark (February 10, 2009). "Intel 32nm Technology" (PDF). Intel.com. Intel Corporation. Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Revolutionizing How We Use Technology—Today and Beyond". Intel.com. Logic Technology Development, Intel Corporation. 
  15. ^ Crothers, Brooke (November 15, 2010). "Intel Sandy Bridge chip coming January 5". CNet.com. Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  16. ^ Pop, Sebastian (April 9, 2012). "Intel Ivy Bridge CPU Range Complete by Next Year". Softpedia.com. Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  17. ^ a b Bohr, Mark; Mistry, Kaizad (May 2011). "Intel’s Revolutionary 22 nm Transistor Technology" (PDF). Intel.com. Intel Corporation. Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  18. ^ a b Novakovic, Nebojsa (April 9, 2012). "Ivy Bridge EP and EX coming up in a year’s time – the multi-socket platform heaven". VR-Zone.com. VR Zone AP Pte. Ltd. Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  19. ^ Knight, Shawn (March 19, 2012). "Ivy Bridge-E Delayed Until Second Half of 2013". techspot.com. Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  20. ^ a b "Leaked specifications of Haswell GT1/GT2/GT3 IGP". TechNewsPedia.com. 2012-05-20. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  21. ^ "Intel Core i7-4790K: Devils Canyon mit bis zu 4,4 GHz, ohne verlöteten Deckel" [Intel Core i7-4790K: Devils Canyon with up to 4.4 GHz, without soldered lid]. golem.de (in German). June 3, 2014. Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  22. ^ a b c Demerjian, Charlie (March 31, 2011). "After Intel's Haswell comes Broadwell". SemiAccurate.com. Stone Arch Networking Services, Inc. Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  23. ^ a b Shilov, Anton (August 21, 2015). "Intel to release 22-core Xeon E5 v4 'Broadwell-EP' late in 2015". KitGuru.net. Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  24. ^ Carey, Gabe (July 7, 2015). "The wait for Skylake is almost over, first desktop chips likely to hit August 5". DigitalTrends.com. Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  25. ^ "Intel 14nm Kaby Lake “Skylake Refresh” Platform Detailed – Launching in 2H 2016, 256 MB eDRAM H-Series and 91W K-Series Unveiled". wccftech.com. July 2015. The Kaby Lake platform will be similar to Skylake platform that launches this year and will act as a platform refresher 
  26. ^ "Intel Releasing 14nm Kaby Lake Processor in 2016 Ahead of 10nm Cannonlake". legitreviews.com. 2015-07-08. We have long known that Intel was planning a ‘Skylake Refresh’ that has always been on the roadmap between Skylake and Cannonlake, but it appears that refresh might be going by the code name Kaby lake now. 
  27. ^ a b c d Mujtaba, Hassan (January 20, 2016). "Intel’s Cannonlake CPUs To Be Succeeded By 10nm Ice Lake Family in 2018 and 10nm Tiger Lake Family in 2019". WCCFTech.com. Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  28. ^ Bright, Peter (July 15, 2015). "Intel confirms tick-tock shattering Kaby Lake processor as Moore’s Law falters". ArsTechnica.com. the switch to 10nm manufacturing has been delayed until the second half of 2017. 
  29. ^ Walton, Jarred (January 4, 2017). "Intel's Kaby Lake: Everything you need to know". PCGamer.com. Retrieved July 7, 2017. Today marks the official launch date of the desktop S-series 7th Generation Core processors... 
  30. ^ Humphries, Matthew (February 10, 2017). "Intel Coffee Lake Processors Arrive 2H'17". PCMag.com. Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  31. ^ a b c Tyson, Mark (2012-05-15). "Intel currently developing 14nm, aiming towards 5nm chips". HEXUS.net. Retrieved 2014-02-25. 
  32. ^ Shah, Agam (March 31, 2017). "Intel's Cannon Lake PC chip shipments may slip into next year: Intel previously had said Cannon Lake would ship by the end of the year.". IDG News Service. Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  33. ^ Eassa, Ashraf (January 18, 2016). "What's the Name of Intel's Third 10-Nanometer Chip? This Fool has learned the code name of the follow-on to Intel's Icelake processor.". Fool.com; The Motley Fool. Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  34. ^ a b Lal Shimpi, Anand (May 6, 2013). "Intel’s Silvermont Architecture Revealed: Getting Serious About Mobile". AnandTech.com. Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  35. ^ Hiroshige, Goto. "Intel Products for Tablets & SmartPhones" (PDF). Impress.co.jp. 
  36. ^ "Import Data and Price of Anniedale". zauba.com. Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  37. ^ Kazuaki Kasahara (November 30, 2012). "アウトオブオーダーと最新プロセスを採用する今後のAtom" [Future Atom adopting out-of-order and latest process]. Impress.co.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved July 7, 2017. 
  38. ^ "Products (Formerly Braswell)". Ark.Intel.com. Intel Corporation. Retrieved 5 April 2016. 
  39. ^ Smith, Ryan; Cutress, Ian (29 April 2016). "Intel's Changing Future: Smartphone SoCs Broxton & SoFIA Officially Canceled". Anandtech.com. Retrieved 29 June 2016. 

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