Intel may discontinue mobile Celeron processors

Right now, folks shopping for a new notebook get to choose between Intel processors under the Celeron, Pentium, and Core brand names. According to DigiTimes, this triumvirate of trademarks may soon lose one of its members.

Although Intel reportedly denies it, DigiTimes says its sources at notebook makers expect the Celeron lineup to disappear next year. The rumor is that Intel will fill the gap with Pentium-branded chips and upcoming dual-core mobile Atom processors. Based on what we heard in May, netbooks toting a new dual-core Atom N550 CPU (and price tags in the $349-399 range) will start hitting stores later this quarter.

At present, the mess of different Celeron, Pentium, and Core processors isn't always easy to figure out. Take the Celeron SU2300, Pentium SU4100, and Core 2 Duo SU7300, for instance—three Consumer Ultra-Low-Voltage processors with dual cores, similar clock speeds, and 10W power envelopes. The only major difference between them seems to be L2 cache, since the Celeron has 1MB, the Pentium has 2MB, and the Core 2 Duo packs 3MB. Does that really warrant completely different brand names?

Don't expect mobile Celerons to vanish from listings too quickly, though. DigiTimes says Intel plans to introduce three new ones "by the end of September."

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