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Intel signals shift away from 'tick-tock' product cycle

Intel Core i5
Intel Core i5 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Intel has put an end to "tick-tock" cycle of product development, according to a new shareholder filing (via The Motley Fool (opens in new tab)). Rather than relying on an update cycle that swings from a major overhaul one year to more minor improvements the next (the tick-tock), Intel says it will instead focus on a new "Process-Architecture-Optimization" cycle:

As part of our R&D efforts, we plan to introduce a new Intel Core microarchitecture for desktops, notebooks (including Ultrabook devices and 2 in 1 systems), and Intel Xeon processors on a regular cadence. We expect to lengthen the amount of time we will utilize our 14nm and our next generation 10nm process technologies, further optimizing our products and process technologies while meeting the yearly market cadence for product introductions.

Intel Development Process Shift

Intel's change of cadence likely reflects the difficulty in keeping up with the pace of major architecture overhauls every other year. Under the new cycle going forward, Intel says it plans to introduce a new product based on its 14nm process under the code name "Kaby Lake." As the third product to be built on the 14nm process, Intel says Kaby Lake will feature performance enhancements over the current Skylake chips.

Check our the writeup by AnandTech for more information and their take.

For those holding out for the next big move, Intel says it is also developing its next-generation 10nm process, which should make its debut in 2017.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to

  • The Motley Fool, really? You're better than this WC.
  • Especially since Kaby Lake's 14nm architecture has been known about since July.
  • What are you talking about? Motley Fool is often insightful and relevant. They make money for a reason! They know stuff!
  • Are you serious? That place is a joke. They're so full of half-baked articles and bad logic, like much of the Internet. Oh, and don't forget that they end their articles with their get-rich-quick spam.
  • Totally agree
  • I wouldn't use "making money" as a qualifier. The Verge makes money and they're a waste of precious life.
  • "The Motley Fool, really? You're better than this WC."
    Then go read the write-up AnandTech and see what they say. The news comes via Intel's own shareholder filing, which we linked to. I mean, do you actually have an argument here or just being a smart-aleck? Because right now, I 'm not seeing much of anything just hand-waving with nothing to back it up.
  • Can we all agree to start using WinC or something instead of WC?
    I'm from Europe and any time I see WC in this forum it makes me think of public restrooms, which is what they call them there.
    Water Closet. I can't tell, if we're talking Windows or Porta Johns on this forum :-)
  • Obviously, it's water closets that need to be renamed, not Windows Central.
  • +1 on this one! I like your perspective.
  • And if you type WC then a loo icon appears lol
  • U must know that they are same.. Don't u know the quality? Take this one as an example.. Sht .. And where ot should be? Toilet.. Soo.. Wc and wc both the same ^.^ use the loo icon won't change
  • "The quality" from the guy who just typed that crap. Ironic. Really, I'm not impressed enough with your comments to take them seriously. Try harder.
  • Apologies for starting this. In the hindsight, I should have known that my stab at trying to make a funny comment would prompt at least one bored person to hurl out their wisdom at all of us. Lesson learned for future.
  • No need to be so profane. This blog in IMHO the best Windows blog there is and that's why I come here to read. Despite your poor opinion of this site, the fact that you are even here, spend time reading the comments and even spend time to reply back speaks volumes. If this site is so poor, you always have a choice know... not visiting? That would probably make all of us happier.
  • I mean god forbid you actually cite the correct site where the information was obtained. You now know you should cite a more reputable site simply to apease the armchar experts.
  • I did read the AnandTech article and got more from it than the Fool in the first few paragraphs. The Motley Fool is dreg. They use big news no brainer headlines to sell clicks and adds. Just look at the end of this article about Intel, they give you a great stock opportunity if you would only just click this link. I'm not the guy that said Win Central is crap, I love this place. But Motley Fool just feels one step from the Onion.
  • MF has some really good articles, if you haven't checked them in awhile, go ahead.
    Whatever Intel can kick out to finally let a new Surface 4 come out and be competitive, I'm all for it. This move makes perfect sense, since they are all hitting the physical limits with what a laser can etch at these super low wavelengths and still make it sell for reasonable prices. Intel said 4 years ago they were planning to be in 5nm in 2015. Well, that never happened, did it? Same as with camera chips, they are realizing that it's not all megapixels and nanometers. There is progress to be made in other areas and still achieve the same performance boost.
  • Wc used to be, not anymore.. Now its just some guys trying to take some money from fanboys and dumb ppl
  • "Used to be" lol, sure. We were crushing it back in the day when we did every app update as an article and wrote 200 word posts. Yes, the glory days of just Windows Phone nerds and nothing else from Microsoft. No thanks.
  • Silicon is reaching it's limits...
  • Yep. Skylake was not nearly the "tock" everyone expected (and in fact shipped with some serious flaws). The "process, architecture, optimization" thing is lipstick on a pig. What really sucks is now enthusiasts have to wait 3 years to upgrade instead of two. This is what you get when AMD isn't there to drive Intel to compete. :(
  • I agree. I have a 4770k that is 2 years old and there is no reason for me to upgrade at all anytime soon. There are very little gains to be had if you have a processor that was top of the line a couple of years ago. GPU's however continue to get more powerful every cycle with obvious improvements and thats where my money goes. I'm not going to complain though, It's saving me money :)  
  • I love this sensible response to a non issue. Also, money saved is always a good thing. +950 XL DS NAM CV
  • What gpu do you currently have? Are you planning on selling it? :P Posted from Windows Central for Windows 10
  • On the plus side... I don't have to fork out $$$ every other year for a new PC with this approach I hope! I actually appreciate a slow down.
    It's the software I want to get less demanding on old machines, not the other way around.
    That comment by Schiller from Apple keynote where he called PC owners sad to own a PC half a decade old was offensive to me. I still run Logic Pro on a 2007 MacBook, slow, but works.  
  • Best thing is Kaby Lake has integrated Thunderbolt 3. Finally the Surface like will be worth buying in 2017.
  • The Surface line isn't worth buying without Thunderbolt? Seriously? Sure, I would love for it to have it, but... that's just crazy talk.
  • Dat ext GPU doe... ? Sorry, I had to.
  • Worst comment in the Internet ever
  • They just waited until that one guy, Andy Grove, died so they wouldn't hurt his feelings lol. Posted from Crappy Old Laptop
  • My Surface Pro 3 with it's 4th generation Haswell CPU is holding up great as my sole, non smartphone, computing device. Will see what the Surface Pro 5 or 6 will offer and if it's enticing enough to upgrade then. +950 XL DS NAM CV
  • Yep, I'm with you.  Didn't see the point in upgrading to the SP4, especially since the cost has climbed.  Seriously considering hanging out until the SP range goes completely fanless.  5?  6? ... maybe.
  • Same here! Only thing I'm considering is getting the updated keyboard from the sp4... Got to use that for a short while and just WOW! Besides that my sp3 actually replaced my tablet and desktop and it does that very good ☺
  • I may look into that also. Particularly the one with the fingerprint reader.
  • Yeah, if I'd buy it it'll be the one with the fingerprint reader too...
  • Agree, my SP3 is still oozing awesomeness and I will get round to a new keyboard too. That's all I want right now so SP5 or 6 will be my upgrade time.
  • Would you upgrade to the 3 instead of the 4 if you are still using an original like I am?  
  • I would actually bet that it is the difficulty of moving to a new process every two years that is driving this decision rather than the architecture. The process is the toughest nut to crack and I think this is a great way to adjust to that reality.
  • Intel switching from Tic-toc to Tic-Tac-Toe! Woohoo!
  • So, I'm reading this article, in the Win10App, and for w/e reason I'm hearing audio for some sort of gaming going on.... a couple of guys talking... no idea where the heck this coming from. All I hear is car sounds and... a couple of guys talking.. this is weird 03-22-2016 @ 8:05PM PST
  • Looks like I'm picking up the twitch stream... not sure how...
  • Yeah, same here, thought my phone was going bonkers.  Weird bug.
  • So no more 6 month revisions that make you think why didn't I wait till end of the year?
  • sweet i cant aford a new computer that often. maybe every 4 years or 6.. if i can get a few more years why not..
  • It seems Intel is moving form a Tick-Tock cycle to a Flop-Tick-Tock cycle.  A die shrink without any other changes is not going to help much at this point and have very limited quantity due to the new process.  But by the 3rd gen product they will have something figured out.
  • So,it will be called 'tick-tock-tack'!?
  • One Tick, Two Tocks and a Pizza Shop
  • Lol idk if it's just me but it still feels "tik tok" to me. Maybe just an additional step
  • We need more OEMs making 10" 2 in 1 devices like the Surface 3 but with better CPU's. Atom is not good for a primary device if you need to run productivity apps, design apps, Math software, etc.  I'm sure Intel is thinking in this when they launch a Kaby Lake CPU designed for small 2 in 1,..
  • Wish my isp would giveup on hitron based docsis modems it makes intel look bad