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AMD to ‘kill' its processor brand names?

AMD to ‘kill' its processor brand names?

The end of Phenom? That might actually be a good thing...

Xbit Labs is reporting that a leaked AMD document strongly suggests the company will bin its Phenom, Athlon and Sempron brand names for its Fusion APUs (accelerated processing units).

Xbit also quotes AMD spokesperson Damon Muzny saying: ‘What you saw AMD do with APUs on the "Brazos" platform is get component-level branding out of the way so that our OEM partners can imbue their products with branding of their choosing without sub-brands cluttering things up.

Will AMD do the same with its forthcoming desktop APUs - Llano and Zambezi? 'You'll have to wait and see,’ says Munzo. According to Xbit, ‘Zambezi processors based on Bulldozer micro-architecture with four, six or eight cores will belong to the FX-series and will be sold under AMD Vision Black and AMD Vision Ultimate labels.

The site also claims that Llano APUs will contain either two or four CPU cores with Radeon HD 6000-series graphics units, and will be branded as A-series processors under the AMD Vision Ultimate and AMD Vision Premium logos.

We contacted AMD to verify the story, but were told that ‘AMD do not comment on rumour or speculation.’ The story has some legs, however, as the first Brazos APUs are merely called ‘AMD Embedded G-Series processors’ by AMD. However, elsewhere AMD is still pushing the Fusion brand, which we were previously told by AMD marketing fellow John Volkman would be a ‘sell-in brand, a brand for the industry to use.’ We were also told that the new AMD logos and branding wouldn’t include Fusion.

As The Tech Report points out, this has led to confusion, as HP claims its Pavilion dm1z series netbook has a ‘dual-core AMD Fusion processor E350,' while the Gigabyte GA-E350N-USB3 merely has an ‘AMD Dual-Core E-350’ processor. Both systems actually use the same APU, despite the different branding.

AMD has previously shown that it wants all future PCs and laptops with AMD parts to just use its Vision and Radeon Graphics logos, so that Fusion is just a name for those in the know, with all the confusing sub-brands shuffling off into oblivion. Theoretically, this not only makes buying a PC or laptop easier for the consumer, but it could also make the AMD brand stronger.

Are you annoyed that AMD isn’t being clearer with its branding strategy, or are you sad to potentially see an end to the Phenom and Athlon brands? Please share your thoughts in the forums.

41 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
wuyanxu 11th February 2011, 15:21 Quote
coming soon: AMD A4, A6 and A8 processors
Claave 11th February 2011, 15:23 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
coming soon: AMD A4, A6 and A8 processors

An A4 processor? That's massive! :D
steveo_mcg 11th February 2011, 15:34 Quote
Yeah but its on the old 80 g/m² so it runs really hot...
schmidtbag 11th February 2011, 15:56 Quote
i kinda liked the old name scheme. it didn't always completely make sense (like what does semp in sempron mean, or what does athl in athlon mean) but for those who knew what the names represented, it made a very definitive separation of products. one of the things i hate most about intel is their naming scheme. pentium was a cool name, but they recycled the name *5 TIMES*. thats unnecessary, and it really doesn't belong in any product list after core2, which happens to be the worst name they've come up with yet. core2 is not only completely unoriginal but it confused so many people. some people had a core2 solo or core2 quad and they're like "i've got a dual core cpu". the names "core i3, i5, and i7" are... ok, but does anyone know what they actually mean? why those numbers? other than "intel", what does the "i" stand for? hearing the name "A-series" is really just disappointing to me, and will STILL be confusing because there was a socket A, which AMD used.
Kúsař 11th February 2011, 16:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
"core i3, i5, and i7" are... ok, but does anyone know what they actually mean? why those numbers? other than "intel", what does the "i" stand for?

What? "i" is for Intel? Damn, I thought those CPUs are made by Apple!

:D
Unknownsock 11th February 2011, 16:54 Quote
Sorry what?
red4our 11th February 2011, 17:13 Quote
Does anyone REALLY care that much what they're called?
Fizzban 11th February 2011, 17:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by red4our
Does anyone REALLY care that much what they're called?

Nope. I couldn't care less.
AiA 11th February 2011, 17:18 Quote
yay more meaningless numbers
digitaldunc 11th February 2011, 18:20 Quote
All for dumping the name Phenom(enal) -- being Scottish, I can't help thinking of Irn Bru whenever I hear the processor name.

Just me? I guess it is :P
frontline 11th February 2011, 19:10 Quote
I don't really care what the naming convention is, as long as it is easy to distinguish the performance differences between each part.
The_Beast 11th February 2011, 19:29 Quote
Good, they should have done this a long ass time ago
TAG 11th February 2011, 19:42 Quote
Quote:
Will AMD do the same with its forthcoming desktop APUs - Llano and Zambezi? 'You'll have to wait and see,’ says Munzo. According to Xbit, ‘Zambezi processors based on Bulldozer micro-architecture with four, six or eight cores will belong to the FX-series and will be sold under AMD Vision Black and AMD Vision Ultimate labels.’

- Zambezi
- Bulldozer
- FX-series
- Vision Black and Vision Ultimate

4 names for the same thing, I find this so confusing at times :?
Eiffie 11th February 2011, 20:09 Quote
Until some average dude gets a job at the CPU naming department for either Intel or AMD we're just gonna have to deal with learning all these crazy names and numbers and what they mean in terms of CPU power and features. It would be nice if there was an easy way of labeling CPU's, I found the I3, I5 and I7 names perfect but then Intel messed it up by spreading those CPU's over different sockets and putting hyper-threading in some and not others and not letting people know which ones are duel-core, quad-core and hexa-core by simply looking at the name. It started off as a good idea but they tried to fit too many CPU's into those 3 names. The introduction of sandy-bridge will probably confuse even more buyers about what they are really getting. For consumers who do their research it's really not that big of a deal but the idea of renaming all the CPU's was to help those who might not do the research about the product their buying and I don't think they really nailed it. (not a very wise thing to do when you spend so much on something like a CPU only to get home and find out it's not exactly what you wanted, do your research, read the reviews, talk to tech-smart friends and see what they have to say about some of your options, do anything but nothing at all and you should be able to find the product to suit you)
omems 11th February 2011, 20:25 Quote
What comes after Ultimate?
"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
Krayzie_B.o.n.e. 11th February 2011, 20:51 Quote
"AMD to ‘kill' its processor brand names?"

I thought Intel did that for them already! Whats with all the names for the new AMD line up? Core i3 i5 i7 is pretty easy. AMD needs this trend and PERFORMANCE!
javaman 12th February 2011, 01:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
coming soon: AMD A4, A6 and A8 processors

Paper launch?
thelaw 12th February 2011, 01:27 Quote
Industry insider told me they will be dropping the phenom, athlon and sempron brand names as they dont feel the current name's display the CPU's performance to it's target audience accurately nor reflects the actual quality of the products they provide to customers so they will be relaunching there new branding of there newly just leaked CPU which is known fondly in inside circles in the AMD development team as "Super High Intensity Thread" cpu range but but they feel that of "Super High Intensity Thread" cpu's title is too much of a mouthful so will be reducing it to a yet unknown Acronym as soon as the marketing team come up with one.


Better put the rum away....
dactone 12th February 2011, 03:34 Quote
come on! everybody needs a name ..... to make them selfs big!!!!
Adnoctum 12th February 2011, 07:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAG
- Zambezi
- Bulldozer
- FX-series
- Vision Black and Vision Ultimate

4 names for the same thing, I find this so confusing at times :?

The paragraph you quoted explained what all these names mean.

"Zambezi" is the internal AMD codename for the high-end desktop processor (a Phenom replacement) based on an architecture that is internally codenamed "Bulldozer". "Zambezi" is used to separate the chip from "Interlagos", which is the Opteron server version based on "Bulldozer".

The FX-x naming is back ONLY for CPUs with unlocked multipliers, not for all AMD CPUs. The Bit-tech article doesn't make this clear, whereas the Xbit one does. It is only for the unlocked versions.

Vision Black and Vision Ultimate isn't applied to the APUs, but to the AMD platform (CPU and MB) that the OEMs put into their systems. It is designed to help more uninformed buyers to make their decision based on what they want to do. It is a grading system based on capability, and is a sticker or label on view at purchase. Once again, the article doesn't make what this is clear enough. I think it is a good idea if it helps people sell/buy systems. It isn't a difficult marketing concept (Vision Black > Vision Ultimate > Vision Premium > Vision) if I can remember it from reading an Anandtech article about it some time ago.

In fact if you want to know what is going on, read the Xbit article because it really does a better job explaining than this one does.
The speculation, which is what this is, is that AMD will move to a letter/number naming scheme more like that of graphics cards, or as the example given by Xbit, Mercedes Benz cars. I think it would be a poor decision, but as an enthusiast I don't really care what they call it.
PCBuilderSven 12th February 2011, 17:48 Quote
Who cares about names, just give it a model number and thats that!
Jehla 12th February 2011, 17:52 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eiffie
I found the I3, I5 and I7 names perfect but then Intel messed it up by spreading those CPU's over different sockets and putting hyper-threading in some and not others and not letting people know which ones are duel-core, quad-core and hexa-core by simply looking at the name. It started off as a good idea but they tried to fit too many CPU's into those 3 names.

I could not agree more.
Gradius 12th February 2011, 23:29 Quote
Give me a real HAL and then we talk.
TheMusician 13th February 2011, 01:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
coming soon: AMD A4, A6 and A8 processors

http://i53.tinypic.com/mct27t.jpg

Introducing, the AMD A4
red4our 13th February 2011, 07:25 Quote
"Introducing, the AMD A4"

Doh!! , don't think my mobo has the right socket for that!!
Bindibadgi 13th February 2011, 08:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Beast
Good, they should have done this a long ass time ago

This.

AMD dropped Phenom on its head at birth and it never recovered from it. It also forced the prized Athlon brand into a dodgy second place and Sempron has always been a lame duck.

Firstly, everyone just ignore the "Vision Black/Ultimate" mlarky - that's just the sticker program for pre-built PCs. You'll only be buying an FX-xxx, A-xxx, E-xxx and C-xx. AMD already has the C and E series with its Brazos platform (Zacate and Ontario dies).

AMD does use multiple sockets, but for the most part AMD only has ONE in the consumer space: AM3+. It's very likely all retail boxed CPUs for consumers will be AM3+.

Logically that will cover FX-, A- and E-, while there will be server 'FX' parts too I very much expect these will retain the strong Opteron brand and numbering to differentiate themselves. Therefore, only the low end E- series will have some overlap between AM3+ and the pre-soldered Zacate E-350/E-240 models, but since you can't buy any Zacate in a box there isn't an issue.
Altron 13th February 2011, 08:41 Quote
I didn't mind AMD's current system nearly as much as Intel's.

Sempron (X1)
Athlon II X2, X3, X4
Phenom II X2, X3, X4, X6

I can certainly see some amount of confusion to people who don't understand that the L3 cache and not the core count is what differentiates Phenom from Athlon, but it's not a big deal.

Granted, they have had plenty of confusing nomenclature in the past. I wasn't a fan of their prior naming scheme. Phenom and Athlon made sense, but they used "Athlon X2" for too many things. Athlon II X2 makes sense because it's an AM3 K10 dual core chip. But they came out with Athlon 64 X2 which was originally 939 (I had one of the original Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Manchester 90nm chips back in late 2005). Then they recycled the name for AM2 dual cores, then dropped the 64 for "Athlon X2" brisbane chips (which were still K8, iirc), then kept Athlon X2 for the K10 Kuma chips on AM2+ (which are actually Phenom X4s with two cores disabled). It's bad news when "Athlon X2" could refer to any of three different sockets over the course of four years.

It's certainly cleared up now, though, with "Athlon II" distinguishing an AM3 K10 chip. Their numbering is pretty unified, too. Phenom IIs are like 5xx, 7xx, 9xx, 1xxx for 2/3/4/6 cores. Athlon IIs are like 2xx/4xx/6xx for 2/3/4 cores. And Sempron is 1xx for a single core. Makes relative sense, presumably 8xx is saved for if they ever had a 6-core Athlon II.

What's annoying me right now is Intel's nomenclature.

Core 2 was a bit tricky (as it meant the successor to the Core Solo and Core Duo, not neccessarily two cores). E meant dual core, Q meant quad core, T was mobile, and X was "extreme". Higher numbers mean higher clocks. What sometimes confused me was the meaning of the actual numbers. What I don't understand is why there are T5xxx and T7xxx Merom mobile chips, and T6xxx and T8xxx and T9xxx Penryn mobile chips. Or why the Conroe and Allendale dual cores were E4xxx or E6xxx. Why Wolfdale dual cores were E7xxx and E8xxx. The letters were straightforward, but it was confusing how some cores seemed to have two different leading numbers. Now, they're selling a whole bunch of Wolfdale stuff as Celeron E3xxx and Pentium E5xxx and Pentium E6xxx. I don't know why they dredged up the Pentium name.

A Wolfdale dual core 45nm 3GHz chip is a "Pentium E6600"
A Wolfdale dual core 45nm 3GHz chip is also a "Core 2 Duo E8400"
A "Core 2 Duo E6600" is a 2.4GHz Conroe 65nm dual core.
How does that make any freaking sense?

And, now, they're being confusing with their nomenclature again. Not sure why they chose "Core i" for Nehalem. I'm not sure whether "i" comes before or after "2" in their crazy dictionary. What's done is done, though, and screw continuity. So now we're rocking i3 and i5 and i7, which makes sense at first, but then it doesn't. i3-5xx is the most straightforward - dual cores on LGA 1156. i5-6xx starts to look like slightly more powerful dual cores on LGA 1156, but then they throw in the quad core i5-7xx that's pretty much an i7 without Hyperthreading. They take LGA 1156 all the way up to an i7-8xx, and then swap over to the i7-9xx. But, oh, wait, an i7-9xx could be 45nm or 32nm, and it could be a quad core or a hex core. They have three different core counts, which at first seems like it would line up nicely with three different names. However, someone decided that i5 had better be dual or quad, and i7 had better be quad or hex, and available on two sockets as well. So there's really no way to distinguish between a quad core i7 and a hexcore i7 unless you happen to know that 960 and below is quad and 970 and above are hex.

And now they're at it again with Sandy Bridge, which is their "Second generation core" which is really the fourth generation, but it's numbered two, not to be confused with the second generation core, which is also numbered two. Oh, and they didn't bother revising i3/i5/i7 to distinguish SB i3/i5/i7 from Nehalem i3/i5/i7, despite the fact that they're two different microarchitectures and different sockets.
DrTiCool 13th February 2011, 09:16 Quote
as stated above, cpu branding these days is a mess.
I'm starting to miss those days when we had 386SX/DX, 486DX/DX2 monikers
Revil0 13th February 2011, 15:51 Quote
Tbh I find it confusing either way :/
Repo 13th February 2011, 16:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
coming soon: AMD A4, A6 and A8 processors
So will the 4 core versions be called A4 Quattro, A6 Quattro and A8 Quattro?


/gets coat....
Valinor 13th February 2011, 19:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altron

Quoting it all would take too much space...

Agreed - processor naming is just :( (wow, a use for one of those smilies!).
infekted.one 13th February 2011, 19:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
coming soon: AMD A4, A6 and A8 processors

The krauts at audi must be having a field day with that odea
Xir 14th February 2011, 08:16 Quote
Even at the height of "Athlon" supremacy over the Pentium 4, I experienced that the name "AMD" meant nothing to people, let alone "Athlon".

It's AMD.
Huh?
You, know, they make CPU's
Huh?
Chips...for in a computer.
Huh?
Like Intel.
Aaaahhh, those silly guys on TV, they sell white suits, right?
*sigh*
Xir 14th February 2011, 08:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by infekted.one
The krauts at audi must be having a field day with that odea
Yeah, like FORD America, that sues Ferrari for naming it's formula one car "F150 Italia".:D

"Yeah..I wuss tryiiing to buy meself a niiice 'nd shiiny pickuptruck, and hot damn, they delivred me a low red thing that looks like a lanmower. Next truck is GM Darnnit!" :D
xaser04 14th February 2011, 09:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Altron
Too much to quote but I agree!

I agree completely with this. CPU naming is just a mess and completely confusing if you take your eye off of the ball for more than a second.
iworld 14th February 2011, 13:25 Quote
Come on AMD - you need to launch CPU's that will knock Intel I7's and I5's off the the top spot which they have enjoyed for a few years now.
Denis_iii 14th February 2011, 16:42 Quote
i'm annoyed and confused
damxi0 15th February 2011, 15:05 Quote
Although I'm not an AMD processor fan, all I can say about the brand name is that, it doesn't confuse me whether they choose to retain the current phenom or not. What matters is the design of the APU, efficiency and its capability to compete with intel.
TheQuadFather 15th February 2011, 16:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitaldunc
All for dumping the name Phenom(enal) -- being Scottish, I can't help thinking of Irn Bru whenever I hear the processor name.

Just me? I guess it is :P

your not alone. irn bru sells well down here on the strange old isle of wight.

also, i will mis the athlon brand heavily, been with it since my first 1.3GHZ! athlon xp :(
Barc777 6th July 2011, 22:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by frontline
I don't really care what the naming convention is, as long as it is easy to distinguish the performance differences between each part.

I liked the Phenom II's X2, X3, X4, and X6 designators that told specifically how many cores they have. A6 and A8 both have quad cores.

Intel's i-series...well, one just can't tell from the i-designator. The i5 processors are either dual or quad core, and i7s are either quad or hex cores. One must look up the specific model number after the i-designator to find out the number of cores. At least the i3 series are all dual core.
TAG 7th July 2011, 10:07 Quote
Actually you get mobile i7 processors with 2C/4T and others with 4C/8T
So confusing ...

The only thing I see that seems to be consistant throughout the whole cpu range is that i7 always has HT.
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