Personally, I’ve always been very confused by Intel’s processor branding. Core Duo and Core Solo were pretty straightforward, but not long after we were dealing with Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad, which is anything but marketing friendly. Apparently, Intel agrees with us and has announced a fairly massive branding overhaul.
The “Core” name will still be around, but the focus will now be on the ix moniker, introduced with Intel’s Core i7. We’ll be getting Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7. It’s important to note that these are not brands; they’re just modifiers to differentiate feature sets within the Core family of processors. “For example, upcoming processors such as Lynnfield (desktop) will carry the Intel Core brand, but will be available as either Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7 depending upon the feature set and capability. Clarksfield (mobile) will have the Intel Core i7 name,” Intel explains.
The Celeron, Pentium, and Atom brands will not be phased out, though. So basically what we’re ending up with is Celeron for simple, entry-level computing tasks, Pentium for basic computing, and Core i3/i5/i7 at the very top. Intel calls it “good, better, best”. The Intel Atom line of processors will obviously still be around for devices ranging from smartphones to netbooks.
The days for Centrino as a processor technology brand are also numbered; starting 2010, it will solely be used for Intel’s WiFi and WiMax products. In addition, Intel’s vPro technology will be paired with Intel Core i5 and i7.
The rebranding process will take a while to complete, but in 2010 everything should be in place.