Intel spells out Core i3, i5, i7 branding

The branding gets simplified into entry-level, midlevel, and high-level segments. Plus, how that fits in with the Lynnfield, Clarksfield, Arrandale, and Clarkdale processors.

Updated at 12:15 p.m. PDT: adding Centrino and Deborah Conrad discussions.

Intel has spelled out its branding for the upcoming Core series of processors including the "Lynnfield" and "Clarksfield" chips. The chipmaker also said that "Centrino" will be phased out as a PC brand.

In a post Wednesday on Intel's Web site, spokesman Bill Calder wrote that the branding will be "simplified into entry-level (Intel Core i3), mid-level (Intel Core i5), and high-level (Intel Core i7)."

Calder added that it is "important to note that these are not brands but modifiers to the Intel Core brand that signal different features and benefits."

The upcoming Lynnfield chip (desktop) will be available as either Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7 depending upon the feature set and capability, Calder wrote. Clarksfield (mobile) will have the Intel Core i7 name.

Deborah Conrad, vice president and director of corporate marketing at Intel, talks about new branding strategy via video on Intel Web site
Deborah Conrad, vice president and director of corporate marketing at Intel, talks about new branding strategy via video on Intel Web site

Arrandale (32-nanometer mobile) will appear as the Core i3 but will ultimately span the Core brand to include Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7. Clarkdale (32-nanometer desktop) will be available under the Core i3 and Intel Core i5 brands, Calder said.

The widely-used Centrino moniker will be phased out as a PC brand, according to Calder. Centrino "will be used as a name for Wi-Fi and WiMAX products" and "still be in market on mobile PCs into next year," he said. But eventually will be discontinued.

"In the back half of this year you'll begin to see Core i5 and more Core i7s coming to market. Then by the first part of next year you'll begin to see Core i3, and i5, i7," said Deborah Conrad, vice president and director of corporate marketing at Intel, speaking in a video posted on Intel's Web site. "Then the old names will get retired as those products get phased out," she said.

Intel also disclosed other branding. "We will still have Celeron for entry-level computing at affordable price points, Pentium for basic computing, and of course the Intel Atom processor for all these new devices ranging from netbooks to smartphones," according to the post. "For PC purchasing, think in terms of good-better-best with Celeron being good, Pentium better, and the Intel Core family representing the best we have to offer," he wrote.

"We are focusing our strategy around a primary 'hero' client brand which is Intel Core. Today the Intel Core brand has a mind boggling array of derivatives (such as Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad, etc). Over time those will go away and in its place will be a simplified family of Core processors," Calder wrote.

Calder continued: "This will be an evolutionary process taking place over time, and we acknowledge that multiple brands will be in the market next year including older ones, as we make the transition."

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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