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Intel explains reasons for choosing i7, sort of

by Scott Bicheno on 11 August 2008, 16:29

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC)

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The magnificent seven

For a company that's so good at marketing, Intel does seem to over complicate things when it comes to the naming of its processors sometimes.

This morning Intel confirmed what most of us have known since last week: its next generation of 45nm processors, codenamed Nehalem, will be called Core i7.

It was definitely time to remove the "2" from "Core 2", especially since the first Core product - Core 2 Duo - was a tautology anyway. At least there was some logic to it, however, but reasons behind the name i7 remain an utter mystery.

Intel Blogger Bill Calder appeared to concede this point when he said the following on the matter yesterday: "Believe it or not, this new naming scheme should make it easier for PC buyers to decide which technology is right for them. The "i7" identifier is the first of several new identifiers to come as different Nehalem-based products launch over the next year."

The best we've managed to get out sources within Intel is this paragraph: "The modifier is simply a means of separating the new and improved high-end desktop processor brand from other existing processor brands and from future brands, which will be announced later.  It represents a collection of factors and highlights unique attributes including performance and other features."

OK, so it's a new brand for a new product and is derived from its features, which include performance. Can anyone think of any aspects of the new processor's performance that might involve the number seven? Or, indeed, the letter i?

The only clues we can see come from other technology companies: Apple likes to stick an "i" before everything and it seems to be contagious if you look at things like the BBC iPlayer, while Microsoft's next operating system is known simply as Windows 7 right now.

That would be a strange basis for Intel to go about choosing the name for a processor that promises to be pretty ubiquitous next year...or would it?

Who knows, but will endeavour to find out more from Intel and also what other tech companies think about it. We can't imagine the likes of Dell and HP are too happy about Intel jumping on the Apple naming bandwagon. Let us know what you think in the


Press release: Next-Generation Intel PC Chips to Carry Intel Core Name

HEXUS Forums :: 22 Comments

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7 for 786?
Perhaps the individual processors will be named something a bit like i7850 (Like one is able to buy a E6750 or T7300)
At least it's still less confusing than the Nvidia product line up.:)
I think Gamer91 might be onto the right track - they could well be planning to use i7 as the code prefix.

I have also heard mention that the i7 style is similar to that used for Itanium processors, and Intel commented that it is the first of many brandings - so perhaps the mainstream consumer processors will have a nicer name, whilst they are hoping that by sharing the Itanium styling, they will acquire more of the power computing market with their high-end processors.

Still think it is probably a terrible name, to be honest :(
i dont understand how its terrible…its just a name for a product.

I admit choosing an i is a bit cliche and the 7 is a bit random as far as we know but its easy to remember and therefore has marketing spot right there.