Intel says its Celeron brand is here to stay

The chip maker has no plans to drop the brand used for the low end of its product line

Intel has no plans to shelve its Celeron processor brand in 2011, the chip maker said Friday in response to a Taiwanese press report.

"The rumor is not true, Intel has no plan to phase out the Celeron brand in 2011. Intel Celeron processors continue to provide a low-cost computing solution for basic computing needs," wrote Barry Sum, an Intel spokesman in Hong Kong, in an e-mail response to questions.

Intel's comments came following a report, based on anonymous sources in Taiwan's hardware industry, that the chip maker plans to stop shipping processors under the Celeron brand next year.

Intel has long used the Celeron brand for inexpensive processors found in low-end desktops and laptops, and the company's current price list contains both desktop and mobile versions of the chips.

The latest price list contains three desktop Celeron chips, which have two cores and run at clock speeds ranging from 2.4GHz to 2.6GHz. They are priced at US$43 and $53 each in 1,000-unit quantities, a standard way of pricing chips. By comparison, Intel's top-of-the-line Core i7-980x desktop chip, which has six cores running at 3.33GHz, is priced at $999 each in 1,000-unit quantities.

The chip maker also sells nine mobile Celeron chips, which have either one or two cores and run at clock speeds between 1.06GHz and 2.2GHz. They are priced between $70 and $100 each, in 1,000-unit quantities.

Intel has relied on nonnumeric brands for its mainstream processors since the early 1990s, when the successor to the 486 processor line was christened Pentium. Since then, the company has added other brands, including Xeon, Itanium, Celeron, Centrino, Atom and Core.

Xeon and Itanium are the brands Intel uses for its server processor line, while Core is the brand used for its mainstream desktop and laptop chips. The Atom family is designed for small, low-cost laptops and mobile devices. As always, Celeron sits at the lowest end of the product line, just below the venerable Pentium brand. Currently, Intel sells eight versions of the Pentium, all dual-core chips, with clock speeds ranging from 2.6GHz to 3.2GHz. They are priced from $64 to $87 each, in 1,000-unit quantities.

The Intel brand that's changed the most over time is Centrino. Originally used to describe a package of chips -- a mobile processor, chipset and wireless chipset -- designed for laptops, the Centrino brand is now used for Intel wireless adapters.

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