Intel drops Centrino, explains Core i3, i5, i7 branding

Centrino will be phased out as PC brand, and be used as name for Wi-Fi and WiMax products. It will still be in market on mobile PCs into 2010 but will eventually be discontinued, blogs executive.

Intel says it plans to phase out "Centrino" as a PC brand and offered more insight into its branding scheme for its upcoming Core series of processors, including "Lynnfield" and "Clarksfield" chips.

In a post Wednesday on Intel's Web site, spokesman Bill Calder wrote that "Centrino" will be phased out as a PC brand, and "will be used as a name for Wi-Fi and WiMax products" and "still be in market on mobile PCs into next year".

It will eventually be discontinued, Calder wrote.

Further, Core chip branding will be "simplified into entry-level (Intel Core i3), mid-level (Intel Core i5), and high-level (Intel Core i7)".

Calder wrote:

"It is important to note that these are not brands but modifiers to the Intel Core brand that signal different features and benefits. For example, upcoming processors such as Lynnfield (desktop) will carry the Intel Core brand, but will be available as either Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7 depending upon the feature set and capability. Clarksfield (mobile) will have the Intel Core i7 name."

Arrandale (32-nanometer mobile) will initially appear as Core i3, but will eventually also include Core i5 and Core i7 as well. Clarkdale (32-nanometer desktop) will be available under the Core i3 and Intel Core i5 brands, Calder wrote.

ZDNet Asia's sister site CNet reported that Intel elaborated more on the strategy for other brands:

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.

Intel is aiming to simplify the "mind boggling array" of Core derivatives, Calder wrote, but the transition will take time.

"We acknowledge that multiple brands will be in the market next year including older ones, as we make the transition," Calder wrote.