New processor designs are one part of the way chips are developing, but these go hand-in-hand with new technologies and advances in how they're are made and what they're made from. 'Process' is the shorthand for the overall bundle of design and manufacturing that actually produces chips, and to date advances have usually been about making things smaller, in more complex patterns, and out of an increasing menu of materials.

Intel characterises chip progress as the 'tick-tock' cadence. A 'tick' is an old design implemented in a new process, while a 'tock' is a new design in an old process. Both give a fillip to performance and reduce costs ...

Upgrade now to get the whole story

Start your free trial