Intel has revamped its processor badging and rating system. Consumers are the main target, though business systems will get new badging too.
The new badges include a die (the chip minus the packaging) accent in the upper right hand corner, a prominent main brand (e.g., "Core"), and the modifier (e.g., "i7").
Intel has also instituted a star system that rates chips from five stars (best performance in class) to one star (lowest performance). "So when a consumer goes into a Best Buy store they can distinguish between Centrino, Core, Celeron, Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad," said Intel spokesman Bill Calder.
That may be a little easier said than done, however. Some consumers (but not including "tech savvy" Giampaolo, of course) will still need help from the sales person to decipher the badging. A daunting challenge in the case of consumer laptops, which are typically plastered with a hodgepodge of stickers from Intel, Nvidia, Advanced Micro Devices, AMD's ATI graphics chip unit, and other companies.
Intel is in the process of moving to a "pretty aggressive brand simplification plan," Calder said. "When we launched Core i7, we said we're moving to a single primary client brand, which is Core. We're moving in that direction," he said.
The Atom processor will not get a modifier. In the future, the Nehalem server processor, currently branded only as "Xeon" with a letter and number suffix, may also get new branding to make it more readily identifiable as part of the Nehalem architecture like its desktop sibling the Core i7, Calder said.