Intel has been the king of the CPU market for a while now, and their 'i' series processors have been the face of their brand for the past 15 years.
However, to keep up with the constantly evolving technology landscape, Intel has decided to drop the 'i' branding and introduce a new line of processors called 'Ultra' for their higher-end chips.
New Ultra Branding
The 'Ultra' branding is being introduced for Intel's more powerful processors, such as the Core i9 and Xeon lines. These processors are designed for power users, gamers, and professionals who demand the best performance possible.
Intel hopes that the 'Ultra' branding will help differentiate these high-end chips from their mid-range and budget offerings.
Today Intel is cleaning up its processor branding, hopefully making it easier to understand. Starting with the new Meteor Lake generation of processors, the company is moving from its traditional "i3/i5/i7/i9" branding to a simpler "Core 3/5/7/9" concept.
Intel says the rebranding “better aligns to customer requests” to simplify its processor names and that the change will be reflected in text and on the badge. This is significant as Intel has been using the "i" branding for its processor for well over a decade.
The End of the 'i' Brand
The 'i' branding has been synonymous with Intel for over a decade, so it's a significant change for the company.
However, Intel believes that the new 'Ultra' branding will be a better representation of the performance and power that these processors offer. While the 'i' branding will no longer be used for new processors, existing processors with the 'i' branding will continue to be sold and supported.
Intel’s higher-end processors will include "Ultra" in their branding before the number — in practice that would look like “Intel Core Ultra 9." And for those who want more information, Intel says generational information will continue to be tacked on to the end ("Intel Core 9 processor 1300AB," for example.) The company stated that both the standard Core and Core Ultra processors can be paired with its Intel Arc graphics.
Intel's decision to drop the 'i' branding is a significant change for the company, but it's a necessary one to keep up with the constantly evolving technology landscape. The new 'Ultra' branding for higher-end chips is a smart move, as it helps differentiate these powerful processors from Intel's mid-range and budget offerings.
While it may take some time to adjust to the new branding, it's clear that Intel is committed to delivering the best performance possible with its processors.
As far as what hasn't changed in Intel's processor branding, the higher number still denotes a faster processor.
Naturally, Core Ultra models will come packed with additional speed and power. At the time of writing, Intel has yet to announce a release date or specifics for its new Meteor Lake processors. Though, rumors suggest that they’ll be coming sometime this year.