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Tick–tock model

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Tick–tock was a production model adopted in 2007 by chip manufacturer Intel. Under this model, every microarchitecture change (tock) was followed by a die shrink of the process technology (tick). It was replaced by the process–architecture–optimization model, which was announced in 2016 and is like a tick–tock cycle followed by an optimization phase. As a general engineering model, tick–tock is a model that refreshes one side of a binary system each release cycle.



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] These occurred roughly every year to 18 months.[2] In 2014, Intel created a "tock refresh" of a tock in the form of a smaller update to the microarchitecture[3] not considered a new generation in and of itself.

In March 2016, Intel announced in a Form 10-K report that it deprecated the tick–tock cycle in favor of a three-step process–architecture–optimization model, under which three generations of processors are produced under a single manufacturing process, with the third generation out of three focusing on optimization.[4] The first optimization of the Skylake architecture was Kaby Lake. Intel then announced a second optimization, Coffee Lake,[5] making a total of four generations at 14 nm.[6]



Pentium 4 / Core / Xeon roadmap

Pentium 4 / Core / Xeon roadmap
Code names
for step
Intel Microcode
Intel Microcode
8P/4P Server 4P/2P Server/WS Embedded Xeon 1P Xeon Enthusiast/WS Desktop Mobile
(new fabrica-
tion process
65 nm P6, NetBurst Yonah (P6),
Presler (NetBurst),
Cedar Mill (NetBurst)
1995-11-1 (P6),
2000-11-20 (NetBurst)
Presler (NetBurst) Cedar Mill (NetBurst) Yonah (P6)
(new micro-
Core Merom[9] 2006-07-27[10][11] Tigerton Woodcrest
Kentsfield Conroe Merom
Tick 45 nm Penryn 2007-11-11[12] Dunnington Harpertown Yorkfield Wolfdale Penryn
Tock Nehalem Nehalem 1 NHM[13] 2008-11-17[14] Beckton Gainestown Lynnfield Bloomfield Lynnfield Clarksfield
Tick 32 nm Westmere 1 WSM[13] 2010-01-04[15][16] Westmere-EX Westmere-EP Gulftown Clarkdale Arrandale
Tock Sandy Bridge Sandy Bridge 2 1 (E3/E5) SNB JKT (Jaketown) 2011-01-09[17] Skipped[18] Sandy Bridge-EP Gladden Sandy Bridge Sandy Bridge-E Sandy Bridge Sandy Bridge-M
Tick 22 nm[19] Ivy Bridge 3 2 (E3/E5/E7) IVB IVT (Ivytown) 2012-04-29 Ivy Bridge-EX[20] Ivy Bridge-EP[20] Gladden Ivy Bridge Ivy Bridge-E[21] Ivy Bridge Ivy Bridge-M
Tock Haswell Haswell 4 3 (E3/E5/E7) HSW, CRW (Crystal Well)
with Iris Pro[22][23]
HSX 2013-06-02 Haswell-EX Haswell-EP Haswell-DT Haswell-E Haswell-DT[24] Haswell-MB (notebooks)
Haswell-LP (ultrabooks)[24]
Refresh Haswell Refresh,
Devil's Canyon[25]
No server version released Devil's Canyon No mobile version
Tick (Process) 14 nm[19] Broadwell[26] 5 4 (E3/E5/E7) BDW BDX 2014-09-05 Broadwell-EX[27] Broadwell-EP[27] Broadwell-DE Broadwell-DT Broadwell-E Broadwell-DT Broadwell-H
Tock (Architecture) Skylake[26] Skylake[26] 6 5 (E3)
1 (SP)
SKX 2015-08-05[28] Skylake-SP Skylake-DE Skylake-D/DT/H Skylake-X Skylake Skylake-H
Kaby Lake[32] 7 6 (E3) KBL 2017-01-03[33] Only 1P server (Xeon E3) version released Kaby Lake-DT/H
cores: 4 (4/8)
Kaby Lake-X[34] Kaby Lake Kaby Lake-H
Kaby Lake-U
Kaby Lake-Y
Kaby Lake R[35][36] 8 KBL-R 2017-08-21[36] Only mobile version released Kaby Lake R
Coffee Lake 8[37] E-2100 CFL
2017-10-05[38] Only 1P server (Xeon E) version released Coffee Lake-H Coffee Lake-S WS (Coffee Lake-E) No WS version released Coffee Lake-S Coffee Lake-H
Coffee Lake-U
Whiskey Lake,
Amber Lake[39]
2018-08-28[39] Only mobile version released Whiskey Lake-U
Amber Lake-Y
Skylake (Skylake-X Refresh) 9 ? 2018-10-08[40] Only WS version released Skylake X Only WS version released
Coffee Lake (Coffee Lake Refresh) 9[37] E-2200 CFL-R
2018-10-08,[41] 2019-04-23[42] Only 1P server (Xeon E) version released Coffee Lake-S WS (Coffee Lake-ER) No WS version released Coffee Lake-R Coffee Lake-H Refresh
Cascade Lake 10 2 (SP)
CSL CXL 2019-04-02[43] Cascade Lake-SP Cascade Lake-AP Cascade Lake-W
Cascade Lake-X
Only server / WS version released
Comet Lake,[44] Amber Lake 10 CML
2019-08-21[44] No server version released Comet Lake-W Comet Lake-S Comet Lake-H
Comet Lake-U
Amber Lake-Y
Cascade Lake (Cascade Lake Refresh) 2 (SP) ? 2020-02-24[45] Cascade Lake R Only server version released
Cooper Lake 3 (SP) CPL
2020-06-18[46] Cooper Lake-SP Only 8P/4P server version released
Architecture Cypress Cove[47] Rocket Lake[47] 11 E-2300 RKL 2021-03-30[48] Rocket Lake-E Rocket Lake-W Rocket Lake-S
Process 10 nm Palm Cove Cannon Lake 8 CNL 2018-05-16[49] Only mobile version released Cannon Lake-U
Architecture Sunny Cove Ice Lake[50] 10 3 (SP) ICL ICX[51]
2019-08-01[52] Ice Lake-SP (2021-04-06)[51] Ice Lake-U
Ice Lake-Y
Optimization[31] Willow Cove Tiger Lake[31] 11 TGL 2020-09-02[53] Only mobile version released Tiger Lake-H35
Tiger Lake-UP3
Tiger Lake-UP4
Architecture Intel 7 Golden Cove Alder Lake 12 ADL 2021-11-04 No server / WS version released Alder Lake-S Alder Lake-HX
Alder Lake-H
Alder Lake-P
Alder Lake-U
Sapphire Rapids[54] 4 (SP)
SPR 2023-01-10 Sapphire Rapids-SP Sapphire Rapids-HBM
Sapphire Rapids-SP
Sapphire Rapids-WS Only server / WS version released
Optimization Raptor Cove Raptor Lake 13 RPL 2022-10-20 No server / WS version released Raptor Lake-S Raptor Lake-HX
Raptor Lake-H
Raptor Lake-P
Raptor Lake-U
Raptor Lake[55] (Raptor Lake Refresh) 14 E-2400 RPL-R 2023-10-17 Only 1P server (Xeon E) version released Raptor Lake-E Raptor Lake-S Refresh
2024-01-08 Mobile processors refreshed Raptor Lake-HX Refresh
Core Series 1 Raptor Lake-U Refresh
Emerald Rapids 5 (SP) EMR 2023-12-14 Emerald Rapids-SP Only server version released
Tick Intel 4[56] Redwood Cove Meteor Lake[57] Core Ultra Series 1 MTL 2023-12-14 Only mobile version released Meteor Lake-H
Meteor Lake-U
Tick Intel 3 Granite Rapids[58] Xeon 6 (SP) GNR 2024 Granite Rapids-SP TBA Only server / WS version released
Tick Intel 20A Lion Cove Arrow Lake[59] 15 ARL 2024 No server / WS version released TBA
Tick Intel 18A TBA Lunar Lake Core Ultra Series 2 LNL 2024 Only mobile version released TBA
Code names
for step
Intel Microcode
Intel Microcode
8P/4P Server 4P/2P Server/WS Embedded Xeon 1P Xeon Enthusiast/WS Desktop Mobile

Atom roadmap


With Silvermont Intel tried to start Tick-Tock in Atom architecture but problems with the 10 nm process did not allow to do this. In the table below instead of Tick-Tock steps Process-Architecture-Optimization are used. There is no official confirmation that Intel uses Process-Architecture-Optimization for Atom but it allows us to understand what changes happened in each generation.

Atom roadmap[60]
Change Fabri­cation

Code names
for step
MID, Smartphone Tablet Netbook Nettop Embedded Server CE
Process / Architecture 45 nm Bonnell (BNL) Bonnell 2008 Silverthorne Diamondville
Optimization Bonnell 2010 Lincroft Pineview Tunnel Creek
Process 32 nm Saltwell 2011 Medfield (Penwell & Lexington) & Clover Trail+ (Cloverview) Clover Trail (Cloverview) Cedar Trail (Cedarview) Centerton & Briarwood Berryville
Process / Architecture 22 nm Silvermont (SLM) Silvermont 2013 Merrifield (Tangier)[61] & Moorefield (Anniedale)[62] & Slayton Bay Trail-T
Bay Trail-M
Bay Trail-D
Bay Trail-I
Process 14 nm[60] Airmont 2014 Binghamton & Riverton Cherry Trail-T (Cherryview)[63] Braswell[64] Denverton
Architecture Goldmont[65]
Goldmont 2016 Broxton Cancelled Broxton Cancelled
Apollo Lake
Apollo Lake Apollo Lake Un­known Denverton Un­known
Architecture Goldmont Plus
Goldmont Plus 2017 Un­known Gemini Lake Gemini Lake Gemini Lake Un­known Un­known Un­known
Optimization Goldmont Plus 2019 Un­known Gemini Lake Refresh Gemini Lake Refresh Gemini Lake Refresh Un­known Un­known Un­known
Process / Architecture 10 nm Tremont Tremont 2020 Un­known Jasper Lake Jasper Lake Jasper Lake Elkhart Lake Snow Ridge Un­known
Architecture Intel 7 Gracemont Gracemont 2021 Un­known Un­known Alder Lake & Raptor Lake (hybrid) Un­known Un­known
Process / Architecture Intel 4 Crestmont Crestmont 2023 Un­known Un­known Meteor Lake[66] (hybrid) Sierra Forest-AP Un­known

Note: There is further the Xeon Phi. It has up to now undergone four development steps with a current top model that got the code name Knights Landing (shortcut: KNL;[13] the predecessor code names all had the leading term Knights in their name) that is derived from the Silvermont architecture as used for the Intel Atom series but realized in a shrunk 14 nm (FinFET) technology.[67] In 2018, Intel announced that Knights Landing and all further Xeon Phi CPU models were discontinued.[68] However, Intel's Sierra Forest and subsequent Atom-based Xeon CPUs are likely a spiritual successor to Xeon Phi.



See also



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  8. ^ a b Linux* Processor Microcode Data File Version 20180312 on 3/12/2018
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