Intel is rebranding its entry-level laptop chips. Starting with the company’s 2023 processor lineup, you won’t find any more chips with Celeron or Pentium branding. And that’s probably a smart move, as the current line of processors marketed under those names is a bit of a confusing mess.
What’s a bit strange is what’s coming next: Intel will be launching a new brand for these chips: Intel Processor.
Intel says it will use the new Intel Processor brand name “for multiple processor families, helping to simplify the product purchase experience for consumers.”
I suppose it simplifies things in the sense that you’ll have fewer brand names to remember. But in terms of quickly getting a sense of a processor’s performance by looking at its name? Maybe not so much.
Right now Intel’s processor lineup basically goes like this:
- Intel Core i9 (highest performance)
- Intel Core i7
- Intel Core i5
- Intel Core i3
- Intel Pentium Gold (based on Core architecture)
- Intel Celeron Gold (based on Core architecture)
- Intel Pentium Silver (based on Atom architecture)
- Intel Celeron Silver (based on Atom architecture)
It sounds like Intel will most likely group some or all of those Celeron and Pentium segments together under the new Intel Processor brand, which means that laptop shoppers will need to pay special attention to the specific chip model number to get a sense of performance.
I suppose that’s been true for a long time though, as a 45W Intel Core i5 H-series processor can easily outperform a 15-watt Core i7 chip much of the time.
The move to phase out the Pentium and Celeron brand comes about 30 years after Intel first launched the Pentium brand in 1993 (Celeron came along five years later in 1998).
Intel’s sales strategy is a combination of corporate arrogance and very poor marketing. For too long (until 2010 when AMD got their act together), they were a monopoly. Intel tried to obfuscate the public with their stupid naming conventions where they used “sales speak” to boost poor CPU performance. The vendors went along with for the ride as long as they were selling laptops and desktops with 30 month life spans (thanks to Windows10/11 updating fiascos). Now, Intel has to fight of AMD in the x86 segment and the upcoming ARM which are grave existential threats. The word on the street is that Intel is pivoting to semiconductor manufacturing completely in the coming years taking advantage of the huge Federal govt investments ($500B) into semiconductor manufacturing.
Intel name history:
80x, Pentium, Centrino, Celeron, Atom, Core-i, New Core Hybrid.
…with thousands of variants in-between!
Intel is the king of bad naming schemes, USB consortium comes second, and a distant third to many other standards.
This is silly. The whole silver/gold distinction was dumb, but it’s better than no distinction. They’re going from 4 product families with nearly-confusing names, down to 1 family with a very confusing name.
What is a $399 Jasper Lake laptop customer supposed to think about “Intel Processor”? Are they being led to thinking that it somehow relates to the higher Intel Core family?
This feels like those situations where brands hide lower quality products behind a established name that represents higher quality, ultimately selling out their brand image to push lower quality products. Like Pyrex, Corningware, or Tiffany’s.
I don’t get it, why de-value the Intel Core lineup?
I suspect I’m going to end up relying on those “Lake” code-names more than ever in the coming years to help differentiate chips.
Intel may not really mean for those names to be used as consumer identifiers, but they certainly come in handy when the company’s actual names are so useless.
I’ve never been able to get any meaningful information out of the “lakes”, honestly. I’m more concerned with the date of launch of the processor, how hot it gets, core counts and speeds, and its performance on benchmarks, and that’s it. The product family names just seem to have little order to them, not really indicating much about what I want to know.
And since it doesn’t seem like any CPU manufacturer really does a good job of putting that information into the name/SKU I’m always looking up stuff on benchmark sites and spec sheets.
As a consequence, it doesn’t feel like anything has really changed, so I really feel like people shouldn’t be getting as upset as they are.
Oh, it’s not about knowing which is newer… it’s that if you know Alder Lake = Core and Jasper Lake = Atom, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect from each.
But it does require learning new Lakes every year… sigh
It would help if they chose Lake names similar to the way that Linux distros versions go through an alphabetical list. That way as soon as you hear the name, you know exactly what to expect.
Like maybe New-world lake names for the Core/Gold family, and Old-world lake names for the Atom/Silver family.
“Intel Processor” — how impossibly generic! That may still have too many syllables to achieve maximum market penetration; I suggest “Int” instead. Naming would then follow a logical progression– the Int 1, 2, 605W, etc. Does obfuscatory designation help sell more chips? If not, the marketing mavens responsible could be assigned to the B Ark.
Heh. I would almost expect them to be brand-families based on the computer type. “Intel Go” for the cheap portable devices, “Intel Work” for mid-range, and “Intel Max” for the Core series.
…crap, I should have trademarked those.
I agree…..but I suspect Intel will continue their bizarre CPU names. As a large corporate,it is tough to make even the small changes. Intel M will be the new brand – M for manufacturing all semiconductors. Maybe Intel M will be the rescue from the decline that it is experiencing.