PAO stands for Process-Architecture-Optimization, a new acronym Intel coined when they changed processor development strategies in 2016 from their former Tick-Tock strategy which had been use since as far back as 2007.

    intel process architecture optimization technology image

    Whereas the Tick-Tock strategy shrunk the node for every “tick” and the architecture was redesigned for every “tock”, the new PAO strategy for Intel shrinks the node for the process stage, redesigns the architecture in the architecture stage, and optimizes both the process and the architecture in the optimization stage. Whereas in Tick-Tock it meant just two processor generations for each design node, PAO means there will be three processor generation for every design node.

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