October 5, 2017 // 11:32 a.m.
Intel has announced that it is bringing its metal-themed processor nomenclature to mainstream parts, after first introducing it for the latest Xeon processors.
Intel has traditionally relied upon numbering to differentiate its various product ranges, starting way-back-when with the 4004 microprocessor. Following competition from AMD and other rivals creating similarly-numbered parts Intel switched to model names it could trademark with the Pentium family and has remained there ever since, but still uses numbers to differentiate between products within a family. The Skylake-based Xeon Processor Scalable family, announced earlier this year, brought with it a major shift to the way the company markets its parts: As well as the family name, range number, and individual product numbers, the new Xeon chips include Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum monikers to indicate where in the market they are designed to sit from entry-level to flagship.
Intel has this week released a product change notification (PCN), first spotted by Tweakers.net, which indicates the company is bringing the same tiered metal theme to its mainstream ranges, starting with the relaunched Pentium family. From November this year, the company has confirmed, the Kaby Lake based Pentium ranges will come with the same metal theming as the Xeon Scalable parts: dual-core parts will be rebranded as Pentium Gold and low-power system-on-chip (SoC) parts as Pentium Silver. The move is purely a branding exercise; the components themselves will remain unchanged.
Thus far the company has not announced any Pentium Bronze or Pentium Platinum models, nor on when - rather than if - the same branding will apply to its more common Core family of processors.