What is the Difference in Intel processors generations?

Different Generation of Intel processor means when processors upgrade to the newer generation, also increases efficiency, Cores, Clock Speed, Integrated Graphics, threads, cache memory, and many more essential components on CPU. Generally, our conception about different generations of processors means speed increases when generation increases, but deep inside of CPU along with motherboard many things upgrades,

If you are serious about your PC performance, then you must concern about things like no of Cores, Clock Speed, cache memory, threads and etc. These are the actual difference in Intel processors generations. So, Don’t carry misconception like latest generation processors are faster. First of all. You must see essential specifications over processor is no of cores, clock speed, Integrated Graphics Card, cache memory.

Intel Different Generation of Processors

Each and every year Intel upgrades Intel launches its newer process generation with decreasing size and increasing number of IC(Integrated Circuit) on processor cheap. You must know that Intel core i3, i5, and i7 are the processor models, not generations.

1. Intel 1st Generation Processor

Nehalem was the first microprocessor from Intel, which was used in the first generation of Intel core microprocessor. Nehalem was launched in 2008. It was successor processor of Intel Core microarchitecture and based on the subsequent design.

Launch Date11 Nov,  2008
CPU clock speed1.606-3.33GHz
CacheL1-64 KB, L2-256, L3-4MB to 24MB
ArchitectureNehalem x86
Transistors731M to 2300M 45 nm
cores2-6 (4-8 Xeon)
ModelsPentium, Core
PredecessorCore (tock) Penryn (tick)
SuccessorWestmere (tick) Sandy Bridge (tock)

Source: wikipedia

Nehalem microprocessor was based on the 45nm. This processor name was given from Nehalem River.


Nehalem is able to deliver 15-20% faster clock speed per core. It has 30% lesser power consumption, and it has 10-25% better single-threaded performance and 20-100%better for multithreaded performance at the same power.

2. Intel 2nd Generation Core

Sandy Bridge was the second Intel generation processor launched in 2011. This Core Processor (Core i7, i5, i3). It is the succer to Nehalem microarchitecture. Sandy Bridge is based on the 32nm process.

intel Sandy Bridge processor


The average performance is better than 1st generation Nehalem processor, and uses 256-bit/cycle ring bus interconnect between cores, it has Intel turbo Boost 2.0 for clock speed, 32KB + 32KB data instruction. Cache memory for L1 and L2 is same as Nehalem.

Launch Date2011
CPU clock speed1.6-3.6 GHz
CacheL1-64 KB, L2-256, L3-1MB to 8MB
ArchitectureSandy Bridge x86
Transistors504M to 2.27B 32nm
cores1–4 (4-6 Extreme, 2-8 Xeon)
ModelsCeleron Series, Pentium Series
PredecessorNehalem (Tock), Westmere (Tick)
SuccessorIvy Bridge (Tick), Haswell (Tock)

source: wikipwdia


The average performance is better than 1st generation Nehalem processor, and uses 256-bit/cycle ring bus interconnect between cores, it has Intel turbo Boost 2.0 for clock speed, 32KB + 32KB data instruction. Cache memory for L1 and L2 is same as Nehalem.

3. Intel 3rd Generation Processor

Ivy Bridge is another 3rd Generation Intel processor launched in 2012. It is based on 22nm architecture. This processor is shrink from Sandy Bridge, which is developed by Haifa Israel. it consumes 50% lesser power at 3D technology.

intel Ivy Bridge processor

Launch Date2012
CPU clock speed1.4 – 4,1 GHz
CacheL1-64 KB, L2-256 KB, L3 2MB to 8 MB
ArchitectureSandy Bridge x86
Transistors2,104 M 22 nm (Tri-Gate)
cores2-4 (Mainstream), 2-15 (Xeon)
ModelsCeleron G Series, Pentium G Series,
PredecessorSandy Bridge (Tock)
SuccessorHaswell (Tock/Architecture)


It’s clock speed was 3% – 6% faster, and 25% to 68% increases GPU performance. Design power reduced to 50w and 155w. Ivy Bridge has also F16C, RDRAND, PCI Express 3.0, Max CPU multiplier.

Later on, there are many new models came. Ivy Bridge-M-2, Ivy Bridge-H-2, Ivy Bridge-HM-4.

4. Intel 4th Generation Processor

Intel 4th generation processor is Haswell, which was developed in 2013. It is the successor to the Ivy Bridge. Haswell is based on the 22nm process, specially designed to optimize power consumption. It is 8% faster vector processing.

Launch: 2013

Cache: L1 64KB per core, L2 256 KB, L3 2-45 MB, L4 128 MB

Architecture: Haswell x86

Cores: 2-4 (mainstream), 6-8 (enthusiast), 2-18 (Xeon)

GPUs: HD Graphics 4200, 4400, 4600, 5000

Models: Hswell Refresh, E, EP, EX

Predecessor: Sandy Bridge (Tock), Ivy Bridge(Trick)

Successor: Broadwell (Tick/Process)


It provides 5% higher single-thread performance, 6% higher multi-thread performance, and 8% faster vector performance. It has also better performance over Integrated HD4000 GPU. So overall performance increases by 3%.

5. Intel 5th Generation Processor

Broadwell is the Intel 5th generation processor launched in 2014. It is based on 14-nm architecture. Broadwell could improve battery life as 1 hour.

Launch: 2014

Cache: L1-64KB, L2-256 KB, L3-2-6 MB, L4-128 MB

Architecture: Broadwell x86

Cores: 2-4 (mainstream), 6010( enthusiast), 4-24 (Xeon)

Predecessor:  Haswell (Tock/Architecture), Haswell Refresh

Successor: Skylake (Tock/Architecture

6. Intel 6th Generation Processor

Skylake is the Intel 6th Generation processor launched in 2015. It is succeeding the Broadwell Microarchitecture. Skylake is based on 14nm manufacturing technology. Skylake is developed in Haifa, Israel. The development team had been working for four years, faced many challenges.

intel Skylake processor

Launch: 2015

Cache: L1-64 KiB, L2-256 KiB, L3-Up to 2 MiB 1.375 MiB

Architecture: Skylake x86

Transistors: 14 nm bulk Silicon 3D

Core: 2-28

Predecessor: Broadwell

Successor: Kaby Lake (Optimization), Cascade Lake-SP (Skylake-SP)

7. Intel 7th Generation Processor

Kaby Lake is the Intel 7th Generation processor launched in 2016. It is based on 14nm Technology. It has the optimization of process-architecture-optimization. KAby Lake was developed by Intel’s Israel team.

In 2017 Intel officially announced to Kaby Lake as an 8th generation mobile CPUs.

Launch: 2016

Clock Speed: 1.00 – 4.5 GHz

Cache: L1 cache 64 KiB, L2 256 KiB, L3 up to 9MiB

Architecture: x86-64

Transistors: 14nm transistors

Core: 2-4

Predecessor: Skylake ( Architecture)

8. Intel 8th Generation Processor

Refresh of Kaby Lake is the Intel 8th Generation processor launched in 2016. It is based on 14nm technology. Kaby Lake’s development process was done by Intel’s Israeli team in Haifa. This processor increases clock speeds on every CPU models.

Launch: 2017

Clock rate: 1.00 – 4.5 GHz

Cache: L1 cache- 64 KiB, L2 cache- 256 KiB, L3 cache up to 8MiB

Architecture: x86-64

Transistors: 14nm (Tri-Gate) transistors

Cores: 2-4

Predecessor: Skylake (Architecture)

In 2017 This Kaby Lake Refresh (Kaby Lake R) marketed as the 8th generation mobile CPUs. These processors have also improved on clock speed over CPUs models. Faster clock speed helps to transition from one frequency to another and increases performance.

9. Intel 9th Generation Processor

Coffee Lake is the Intel 9th Generation processor launched in 2018. It is the successor of the same generation Cannon Lake and Whiskey Lake. It has up to 8 cores. Intel soldered the integrated heat spreader (HIS) to CPU die instead of using thermal paste.

Launch: 2018

Cache: L1 cache- 64 KiB, L2 cache-256 KiB. L3 Cache up to 16 MiB

Architecture: x86-64

Cores: 2-8

Transistors: 14 nm (tri-Gate) transistors

CPUs: GT2, GT3e

Predecessor: Kaby Lake (Optimization)

10. Intel 10th Generation Processor

Canon Lake is the Intel 10th Generation processor. It is based on the 10 nm (tri Gate) Transistors technology.  The successor of this Canon Lake is Ice Lake. Canon Lake is first which has AVX-512 instruction set.

Launch: 2018

Clock Speed: 3.2 GHZ

Cache: L1 cache 64 KiB, L2 cache 256 KiB, L3 4 MiB

Architecture: x86-64

Instructions: x86-64, Intel 64

Transistors: 10nm

Cores: 2

Predecessor: Desktop, Coffee Lake, Kaby Lake Refresh

Successor: Ice Lake

11. Intel 11th Generation Processor

Tiger Lake is the coming Intel 11th Generation Processor. Which would arrive in mid of 2020. It is specially built for mobility. It is based on 10nm architecture technology and integrated with Xe graphics architecture.

Tiger Lake-H comes with 8 cores and 16 threads.

Launch: mid of 2020

Cores: 8 core

Clock Speed: 4.5 GHz

Cache: L1 Cache 48/32 KB, L2 10 MB, L3 cache – 34 MB


Tiger Lake CPUs would beat AMD’s 7nm Zen 2 Ryzen 4000. It also supports  DDR4 speeds up to 3200 MHz, DDR4-3200 / LPDDR4x 4266 and Tiger Lake-Y, LPDDR4X RAM.

12. Intel UpComing Generation Processor

Sapphire Rapids is the Intel upcoming processor. It is based on the 7 nm or 10 nm technology architecture. It has the feature of DDR5 and SDRAM support. It is the predecessor of Server Ice Lake SP.

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