Reports are circulating that Intel is looking to phase out its low-cost Celeron processor line by 2011, replacing it with Pentium and Atom N-series chips.
The rumours of an end to the Celeron brand - which has been a popular, if not exactly loved, part of budget computing since the first Pentium II-based Celeron chip launched in April 1998 - come from un-named sources in the notebook manufacturing industry, which DigiTimes
claims have been informed by Intel that the Celeron lineup will be "gradually reduced
" prior to a full phase out in 2011.
The rumour has been roundly denied by Intel, which is launching some fresh Celeron chips in September this year - the P4600, the T3500, and the U3400 - but certainly has a ring of truth to it: with Intel concentrating its low-power computing expertise on the Atom line, it's hard to see a place in the market for the Celeron processor any more.
Things were different when the Celeron launched: as an obvious, cheap alternative to the Pentium II, the Celeron has a clear place in processor market. Now that Intel's Core range has the high-end sewn up and the Pentium eats away at the low end office machine market, the only place left for the Celeron is low-power computing - something Intel is looking to target with its latest dual-core Atom processors.
If the rumours prove true, and the Celeron brand is really for the chop, it'll bring a twelve-year legacy to a close - and leave Intel with one less name to find a marketing budget for in these times of corporate belt-tightening.
Do you think that Intel should kill off the Celeron brand, or is there still a lot of goodwill left in name that originally signified a crippled Pentium? Share your thoughts over in the forums