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Intel outlines changes to Core CPU branding

updated 04:00 pm EDT, Wed June 17, 2009

Intel announces rebranding

Intel's corporate communications manager Bill Calder, in a Wednesday post on the company's corporate blog, informed readers of forthcoming changes in the chipmaker's brand structure. Calder admits Intel's current complex structure has too many platform brands, and product names and brands, which confuses customers. This will start with leading with Intel and what it has done for technology, with Calder pointing to the company's Sponsors of Tomorrow ad campaign.

Intel will also simplify its Intel Core range of products, getting rid of confusing Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad and similar names in favor of simpler Core i3 and Core i5 designations joining the recently unveiled Core i7 chips. These will not be brands but rather modifiers that will have different features and benefits. As an example, Calder cites upcoming codenamed Lynnfield CPUs will carry the Intel Core brand but be available as either Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7 depending on their features and capabilities. The mobile Clarksfield processors, its most advanced, will go under the Core i7 name.

Core i3 will be reserved for entry-level products, Core i5 for mid-range products and i7 for flagship offerings. Celeron will be retained for affordable, entry-level PCs, Pentiums will relate to basic computer and Atoms will remain tied to netbooks, smartphones and other handheld devices. The hierarchy will flow from Celeron at the bottom end, through Pentium, to Core.

As the third way of rebranding itself, Intel will change and transition its platform brands over time. Intel vPro will remain as the top-of-the-line security and manageability technology and be teamed with Intel Core i5 or Core i7 chips. Starting in 2010, Calder promises Intel's business client systems will be called either Intel Core i7 vPro or Intel Core i5 vPro. This will result in a send-off for the Centrino processor brand, though it will remain in place for Wi-Fi and WiMAX-enabled products in 2010.

Calder points out the transition will take time, and during this time, some of the older brands will remain even through next year.

by MacNN Staff



  1. malax

    Joined: Dec 1969


    clear as mud

    How does this make any sense? All I can think it that they are taking a page from BMW (3-series, 5-series, etc.). Otherwise, where the heck does 3i, 5i, 7i come from? 1,2,3 was too straightforward? What if I want a 9i or 11i (for the Spinal Tap afficionados)? And using the word CORE is rather stupid too, since how many cores a particular CPU has is still relevant. "My Intel CORE 3i has one core, and my CORE 7i has 8 cores. Cool, eh?"

  1. jbwith84

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Pretty Straightforward

    It all makes sense now! Good thing they are doing this, because I was confused before...

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not bad

    Honestly it's not that bad Core 2 Duo was the worst name idea ever!

  1. Salty

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not bad

    Sorry wait I meant behind 3G S :P

  1. chucker

    Joined: Dec 1969


    too bad

    I have a much better idea, why don't they just differentiate all their products on clock speed, now that really would clear things up, and demonstrate that they have the fastest chips...

  1. SlimGem

    Joined: Dec 1969



    This stupidity makes Microsoft's multiple versions of Vista look intelligent and logical.

  1. fahlman

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Marketing Department

    Intel's Marketing Department is full of idiots.

  1. jstephe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Almost Had Me

    OK simplification I can understand, and they need.

    But retaining, Celeron, Pentium ect does not remove any confusion for the average consumer.

    Atom i? for net-books and Cell Phones and Core i? for everything else makes more sense, where i? indicates capability.

  1. chas_m



    I agree

    with all the comments above, particularly "clear as mud." :)

    Intel -- why are you so afraid of giving the chips NAMES? You know, names that make it clear that chip A is different than chip B?

    Example: without knowing, I could easily tell you that the MacBook Pro is a more advanced model than a MacBook. Duh.

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