Santa Clara (CA) - Intel today unveiled the brand of its upcoming processor: Nehalem, the successor of the Core 2 Duo CPU series, will be introduced as "Core i7" later this year and the company hopes that the new brand will be easily recognized and remembered by customers when they walk into a store to buy a new PC.
Late last week rumors were cycling the Internet about the new branding for the upcoming Nehalem processors and today those rumors were confirmed, but with a new twist. Although the first Nehalem processors to be released will be formally branded as Intel Core i7 processors, the i7 identifier will in fact be one of several new identifiers in the Nehalem product line up to be released over the next year. It seems the Intel Core will be the main branding in the family with the following identifier added in to help consumers determine easily what feature set and capability a particular processor will have. Model numbers will also help identify each chip.
The first crop of Intel Core i7 processors released will be for the high-end desktop and are expected to ship later this year. Among these first released will also be the enthusiast Intel Core i7 Extreme Edition processor that will differ in the branding by bearing a black logo rather than blue. The new Intel Core processors will feature an integrated memory controller for increased speed, better multitasking with the addition of Hyper-Threading technology, better performance per watt efficiency, and future versions of the processor in the mobile space will feature an on-chip graphics solution.
At this time, Intel provides no guidance what i7 means, which other identifiers are in the works and how i7 will evolve over time. Our first impression is that i7 is an emotionless and much more technical name than Core 2 Duo. But we have no idea if that will be the general impression of the market and if it was Intel’s intention to come up a cold and very technical name. However, we do are quite sure that this new processor will create even more confusion for average PC buyers.
Core 2 Duos, Core 2 Quads, Pentiums and Celerons are likely to be phased out over time (Intel will keep the Xeon brand, we were told), but they remain available for now. Without a numbering system that works across all processor families and serves as an easy to understand indicator for the performance and features of each processor, i7 will only cause additional confusion that, in our opinion, is absolutely unnecessary. We give Intel the benefit of the doubt that i7 will make more sense in a few months.
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