Intel Moves Away from Tick-Tock Chip Production Cycle

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2016-03-23 Print this article Print
Intel chips

Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy, told eWEEK he is not yet convinced that the change in cadence is a permanent strategy, but that "if true, it is a reflection in the changes made to Moore's Law." It's also an indication of Intel's understanding that processor improvements don't always need to be tied to major architectural upgrades or process node changes, he said.

Moorhead noted that improvements can be made to everything from pre-fetching to caching within in the chip to bring about significant performance improvements. Intel also is on board with the trend toward accelerated computing, where components like GPUs, digital signal processors (DSPs) and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) are integrated into the chip to increase performance. Intel last year bought FPGA maker Altera for $16.7 billion.

The analyst also didn't believe that the apparent change in Intel's manufacturing schedule was an indication that Moore's Law was reaching the end of the line.

"I've seen the rumors of Moore's Law's death during my nearly 30-year career," Moorhead said. "It's certainly been harder [to keep up with Moore's Law] as we go along … but no one's really thinking about the death of Moore's Law. Researchers have always found a way."


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