Report: Intel may ditch the Atom brand name

And now for the eyebrow-raising rumor of the week: the folks at DigiTimes say they've heard from "industry sources" that Intel plans to rename its upcoming Cedar Trail Atom processor next year. If I'm reading this right, Cedar Trail CPUs are expected to launch under the Atom umbrella later this year, but they'll adopt a new brand name in 2012.

DigiTimes doesn't say what the new name will be, nor does it provide any hints, but the site does give us an inkling of Intel's potential motivation. "Demand for netbooks and nettops built with its Atom-branded processors has dropped significantly due to the poor brand image of Atom CPUs," the site says.

It's true that the Atom name has sort of become synonymous with underpowered netbooks and nettops, but I'm not sure if slapping a new brand on Cedar Trail will help counteract that trend. If we're to believe the benchmark numbers leaked last month, Cedar Trail will have faster integrated graphics and HD video decoding capabilities, but it will retain the Atom lineup's characteristically anemic CPU performance.

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