The evolution of Intel processors

Intel is a multinational technology company and is known for their processors used to run many of today’s computers. Intel is the most valuable and semiconductor chip maker in the worlds. Most of us use the Intel chipset on your computer. Here is the evolution of Intel processors.

The Intel 4004 was one of Intel’s first microprocessor and was introduced in the early 1970s. This microprocessor was mostly used on instruments similar to calculators. The Intel 4004 was succeeded by the 8008 and 8080. The PC industry was still in its early stages.

Intel created the 8086 in 1978 and marketed it highly. This chip gave rise to Intel’s x86 architecture. This architecture brought on the most successful line of processors for Intel. In 1982 Intel released the 80286 microprocessor which was used on IBM and then Compaq. The release of 80386 set up Intel to become key component supplier.

At the time the same microprocessor was built by many manufacturers to limit problems caused by production. Intel started making microprocessors under the 386 design and did not license it to any other manufacturers. The 386 became the most popular CPU choice and drove Intel’s sales. Profits from this funded many of Intel’s future chip-designs and propelled Intel to become the leader in the market.

Intel then created the 486 microprocessor in 1989. This brought on the Pentium chipset. The Pentium was followed by the Pentium Pro and thereafter the Pentium 2. The Pentium chipsets were released when desktop PC had a high adoption rate and started appearing in most homes. With the high adoption rate and Intel’s “intel inside” marketing campaign catapulted Intel’s popularity and growth. Intel released processors every 2 years and the release of Pentium 3, 4, D and M occurred.

Intel’s core 2 family was introduced in 2006. These were 64-bit microprocessors and released in single, dual and quad core models. Intel continued the Pentium brand as mid-range microprocessors. Intel did release low-range and mid-range processors under the Celeron and Atom names that were used primary for low end systems, heat reduction and battery life and are not popular as their flagship line.

Intel released new microprocessors under their Nehalem microarchitecture in November 2008. Intel released 3 variants namely the i3 which was the low end of the performance processors, the i5 was the mid-range processor and the i7 which was the high end processor for high end users and businesses.

Intel has continued this range of processors but has changed their architecture and model number to identify with the different generations. Intel follows the Tick-Tock model which they explain as every Tick represents the shrinking of the process technology and a Tock meant a change in the microarchitecture. Currently there have been 7 generations and the latest is known as Kaby Lake which is neither Tick nor Tock but an optimisation.