The Evolution of Intel Processors

The must-have Intel processor tendency in many users is common but most of them are completely unaware of what generations of the processor exactly means! Surprisingly it is the truth. They most think i3, i5, i7 are the generations which is completely wrong. 

Duel Core, Core to Duo, Celeron, i3, i5, i7, i9, i9 X-Series etc are Intel’s models or brands but not the generations. Each model’s generation upgrades after a certain period of time depending on the work progress of the company.

Processor models released by Intel

The processor models released by Intel until now are – Pentium 1, 2, 3 and 4, Celeron, Pentium M and Celeron M series for tablet PC and mobile, G series, Dual Core, Core Solo, Core 2 Duo, Quad Core, Core 2 Quad, Core i3, i5, i7, i9 and i9 x-series.

Intel Processor Generations

The processor generation majorly differs in all of its micro-architecture. But it’s also about the enhanced features and performance speed with each upgrading generation. But the concept of processor generation became a concern after the Core i series were released. The differences/upgrades/changes in the Generations of Intel processor are discussed below:

Intel Processors – 1st Generation

Nehalem micro-architecture is categorized in the “first generation” Intel processors, which has used a 45 nanometer process that runs at increased clock speed and it’s also very energy-efficient. Hyper-threading was reintroduced in Nehalem. It was first used in the Core i3, i5 and i7 series. It was marketed in November 2008.  

Intel Processors – 2nd Generation

Nehalem micro-architecture was later replaced by Sandy Bridge. It was introduced by Intel in 2011 as “second generation”. It was manufactured in 32 nanometer process where its following generation Ivy Bride has used a 22 nanometer die shrink. Sandy Bridge micro-architecture was also used in the core series i7, i5 and i3 as well. The massive enhanced performance in Sandy Bridge processors compared to its predecessor was surely noteworthy.

Intel Processors – 3rd Generation

Ivy Bride processors perform faster than its predecessor as it has used 22 nanometer process. It was categorized as the “third generation” from the Intel family. It has also been used in the manufacture of Core i7, i5 and i3 models of Intel.

With the advantage of 50% less power consumption the processor will provide 25% to 68% speedy performance than Sandy Bridge. Compared to clock to clock, 3% to 6% increase in CPU performance is easily noticeable. The heating issue is only problem with Ivy Bridge.

Intel Processors – 4th Generation

Haswell is known as the “fourth generation core” developed by the Intel. This micro-architecture is the successor to Ivy Bridge. Haswell uses the same 22 nanometer process but improved version obviously. Taking some of the features from its predecessor Haswell added some new features that have made it perform far better.

Haswell processors are 8% faster vector processing, 5% faster single-threaded performance, 6% faster multi-threaded performance, 6% increase in sequential CPU performance, up to 20% performance increase over the integrated HD4000 GPU and a total performance improvement on average is about 3% have showed how efficient they are. But it still is a problem that it emits temperature 15 °C than Ivy Bridge. (Wiki)

Haswell micro-architecture is used in the models Core i3, i5 and i7, Xeon E3 v3, Xeon E5 v3, Xeon E7 v3 of the Intel family.

Intel Processors – 5th Generation and afterward

Haswell wasn’t completely replaced by the Broadwell micro-architecture. It’s a 14 nanometer process die shrink of the Haswell. Broadwell was used in the manufacture of “sixth generation” core i7, i5 and i3 processors. It was released in September 2014.

Later Intel introduced the world of technology to Skylake, Kaby Lake, Coffee Lake, Whisky Lake, Cannon Lake micro-architectures through the manufacturing of its latest processors. Intel is now marketing 9th generation i7, i5, i3, i9 and i9 X series processors and recently announced six new 9th Gen processor models are about to hit the market.

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