AMD might kill its processor brand names


— 6:00 AM on February 11, 2011

The Phenom, Athlon, and Sempron brands could be history in a few months. At least, that's what I'm gathering from a story by X-bit labs, which says AMD will neglect to dub its upcoming Llano and Zambezi processors with specific brand names.

Quoting a mysterious "document," X-bit labs explains that this move will reflect what AMD did with its Zacate and Ontario chips last month. These offerings are labeled simply as AMD E- and C-series parts with numerical identifiers and no unique brand names. (Of course, that hasn't stopped PC vendors from filling in the blank—HP, for instance, calls the flagship Zacate part an "AMD Fusion processor E350.")

Reportedly, upcoming Zambezi offerings will make up the FX series at the high end, while Llano will be part of the A series and fill in at the mid-range and entry level. That means we might end up with processors like, say, the AMD FX-680 or the AMD A-450. The thinking here is to shine the spotlight on AMD's own corporate identity; X-bit labs draws a comparison to the branding scheme for Mercedes cars, which are also identified only by letters and numbers.

Whatever steps AMD takes, I think simplifying its branding can't hurt. Those of us in the tech press don't particularly enjoy having to type out protracted product names like "Phenom II X6 1090T Black Edition," and I'm sure most folks don't enjoy reading them. The addition of meta-brands like Vision and Fusion has fogged things up in over recent years, as well.

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