Intel Extends Chip Production Cycle Beyond Usual 'Tick-Tock' Cadence

Today's topics include Intel's move away from its usual tick-tock chip production cycle, Apple's latest updates to OS X 10.11.4 and iOS 9.3 to boost security, why Facebook is dropping its app for BlackBerry 10 OS and Google's building program to open 12 new data centers to extend its global cloud footprint.

In 2015, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich the company was moving away from its "tick-tock" cadence for manufacturing processors by adding a third 14nm chip to its lineup.

Now Intel seems to be formalizing the new schedule. In a 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 22, Intel officials said they will continue introducing new microarchitectures for its Core PC and Xeon server chips on a regular cadence.

However, the cadence will be stretched from the every-two-year schedule under the tick-tock process, possibly to as much as two-and-a-half years.

Although industry watchers' eyes were on Apple's iPhone and iPad announcements on March 21, the company released a series of important security updates for its mobile and desktop operating systems on the same day.

Of particular note is a high-impact vulnerability in Apple's Messages app that is now fixed in both the OS X 10.11.4 and iOS 9.3 operating systems.

The new Apple mobile and desktop operating system updates are the second so far in 2016, following the OS X 10.11.3 and iOS 9.2.1 updates released Jan. 19.

Facebook is dropping support for the BlackBerry 10 version of its stand-alone social networking application due to the platform's small market share.

With the demise of the Facebook app for BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry users will still be able to access the social media site through a Web browser on their smartphone or by using a Web Wrapper app that will provide a Web view of the Facebook platform, a Facebook spokesperson said.

Once one of the most popular mobile operating systems in the world, the market share of BlackBerry OS has fallen precipitously with the rise of the Apple iPhone and Google Android mobile platforms.

Google will add as many as 12 new data centers around the world through the end of 2017 as part of a major planned expansion of its cloud computing capabilities.

Two of the new data centers—one in Oregon and the other in Tokyo—will open later this year while the others will go online next year. Each of the data centers, or regions as Google calls them, will serve multiple zones within a particular geographic area.

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