Intel May Axe Atom Brand, Pentium and Celeron Names Live On

Paul Lilly

Don't call a duck a duck if it isn't selling

Intel's Atom brand grew to notoriety in the netbook era, during which time select ultra-low-voltage (ULV) processors were also found in nettops and embedded applications. Today's Atom processors are much more powerful than those early models that debuted in 2008, but because of negative connotations attached to the Atom brand in terms of performance, Intel may decide to drop the brand name.

The Santa Clara chip maker is having internal discussions about a name change, which could take place in the fourth quarter of this year, according to Digitimes and "sources from the upstream supply chain" it spoke with. The problem Intel faces is that it desperately wants to compete in mobile, but it believes the Atom brand is hurting sales in the smartphone and tablet markets.

What about Intel's Pentium and Celeron brands? Those are safe, at least for the time being and probably a long time to come. In fact, Intel is gearing up to launch Haswell-based Pentium processors in September and Haswell-based Celeron chips in the first quarter of 2014.

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