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.