Intel officially kills off 'tick-tock' era with extended 14nm lifespan

Scorpus

Posts: 2,041   +234
Staff member

With mounting evidence over the past year, Intel has officially confirmed in their latest K-10 filing that their famous 'tick-tock' process node development cycle has ended. Instead of getting two processor families on each die shrink, the company is now looking to release three or more over the course of several years.

As spotted by PC Perspective and The Motley Fool, Intel's filing states that they "expect to lengthen the amount of time we will utilize our 14 [nanometer] and our next-generation 10 [nanometer] process technologies." The yearly release of new products will continue, but there will be a closer focus on architecture optimization as the development of process technology slows.

What immediate impact does the end of 'tick-tock' have on Intel's upcoming products? Well, it basically confirms that their next product family, codenamed 'Kaby Lake', will be manufactured using 14nm technology instead of 10nm. This pushes back the timeframe for Intel's 10nm processors to 2017, and 7nm to 2019 or later.

Over the next few years, Intel may be surpassed in processor manufacturing technology by rivals like TSMC, who expect to have 7nm processors ready by around 2018. We're still talking about tech that won't be ready for several years, but it definitely seems like Intel will no longer have a clear advantage when it comes to smaller process nodes.

Despite increased competition from other companies, Intel still believes it has a competitive advantage when it comes to processor technology. As Intel both develops new processors and owns the facilities to fabricate them, this gives the company the ability to "optimize performance, shorten time-to-market, and scale new products more rapidly."

Whether this perceived advantage will actually lead to faster deployment of new process nodes remains to be seen. But for the time being, tick-tock appears to have died, and this year we're in for another 14nm chip.

Permalink to story.

 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,868   +1,919
Oooo it's official now? NICE!
I thought the whole tick-tock thing was stupid. Especially as they got closer and closer to 10nm. Why exhaust new process technologies just for the heck of it? I refuse to think it was because of the power savings alone, and we know it wasn't for the performance.
 

EEatGDL

Posts: 766   +491
This TSMC's 7nm and others of the sort are said very lightly. Unlike Intel, others' node technology is not the independent variable where all dependent variables follow. For Intel, it's the node that all other measurements follow as multiples; for others, it's just the shortest measurement they can get somewhere -the gate width for instance, not shrinking gate length and interconnections accordingly.

What does this mean? Well, density doesn't increase in the same rate as Intel (exponentially); it might be between cuadratic and exponential, but definitely not the same rate as a "true" node.
 
R

Raoul Duke

Maybe I don't feel so bad now, having a few months ago upgraded to Skylake, i7-6700K although at the time I thought the mobo (Z-170 chipset) was more exciting
 

Kreegir

Posts: 16   +20
Personally I liked the tick-tock idea, it was a decent reflection of the drive of competition. unfortunately with that competition not happening Intel has decided to slow down its tech increase push and sell more mediocre increments.

Bottom line, hang on to those PCs longer people, because there will be no reason to upgrade for years. I just upgraded my sandy-bridge to skylake and it looks like ill be using this for at least as long as my Sandy-bridge box.
 

BadThad

Posts: 736   +831
Basically, Intel is admitting they are approaching the limitations of what they can do with transistors. A new tech is needed! Until then, they will rest on what they have and we'll continue to see minor IPC improvements over the next few years via architecture.
 

loading

Posts: 67   +13
Without AMD competition we are doomed to Intel mediocrity.

Maybe AMD should get their butts in gear so we (the consumer) don't have to settle or deal with a monopoly on processor dies?

Competition creates innovation; and if AMD folds then yeah, welcome to mediocrity but don't blame Intel for that.
 

ForgottenLegion

Posts: 456   +450
Looks like my Haswell-E will live long and prosper.
More money in my pocket rather than Intel's. Fine by me.
To be honest, there's been no major performance improvement in cpu's since Sandy Bridge which was what? 5 years ago? That is truly unfortunate for us all.
 
Tech refresh every 2 years - people complain that they have to upgrade every 2 years. Extend Tech refresh out to 3 or 4 years - people complain that they don't have to upgrade in 2 years. Proof you can't satisfy everyone.
 

danhodge

Posts: 80   +13
This has nothing to do with competition, this was inevitable. We always knew Moore's law wouldn't hold up forever, there are too many restraints (mainly heat) to let us keeping scaling down the density of transistors. Intel is a company that will keep trying to innovate no matter what competition exists, because they are clever, and they know their biggest threat is some clever guy in his garage, who happens to come across a better way of doing things.

Hopefully this allows for Intel to pursue alternative ways of improve performance, without just scaling down. It's the next step if we want to progress.
 

Apogee777

Posts: 34   +6
Without AMD competition we are doomed to Intel mediocrity.

Maybe AMD should get their butts in gear so we (the consumer) don't have to settle or deal with a monopoly on processor dies?

Competition creates innovation; and if AMD folds then yeah, welcome to mediocrity but don't blame Intel for that.

no we blame the buyers for not making sacrifices in areas they could have.