AMD’s Naming Vision Trumps Intel’s Core

47227B_VISION_Logo_P_4C_120xToday, Harry McCracken has a great article “AMD Keeps it Simple. Very Simple” on his great new Technologizer site in which he discusses AMD’s new processor naming scheme.

He says, “AMD is making a dramatic bid to simplify branding of its CPUs down to the bare essentials. In fact, rather than emphasizing specific CPUs at all, it will focus on three levels of performance:” Vision, Vision Premium and Vision Ultimate.

This is clearly (and I think successfully) aimed at consumers–who are typically confused by all the tech references in processor names.

From the simplicity of this scheme (and if it is smart) it appears AMD will keep the names simple even as the underlying technology changes.  Apple does this–it’s always the MacBook and MacBook Pro even as the processor, hard drives, ports, etc. continue to change.


In 1993 Intel revolutionized the selling of technology to consumers when it, named its processor the Pentium rather than the i586 (the i386 and i486 had come before.)  Ironically, Intel was pushed into naming processors when AMD began copying the x86 names when a court refused to grant trademark protection on numbers.

So where is Intel today with consumer processor naming?

I hate* to say: Not as good.  On a page aimed at helping consumers find the right processor for laptops is a list of products including: Intel Core 2 Extreme, Core 2 Duo, Centrino 2, Core 2 Solo, Pentium and Celeron processors.  And while Intel has an explanation next to each (e.g. “Unplug and enjoy great performance in more places.”) there is not a lot of clarity in the names themselves.

Great to see tech companies naming products.  Even better to see good naming schemes.

*Disclosure: I worked at Intel for a few years and still have a small amount of stock.