Intel plans to retire its legendary Pentium and Celeron chips starting in 2023, exactly 30 years after the release of the first Pentium back in 1993. For most, this decision marks an end of an era, seeing as how Pentiums were powering the majority of personal computers in the ‘90s. The company will replace entry-level chips with a new “Intel Processor” brand.
“Intel Processor” will fill the shoes of two previous chips commonly powering lower-end computers to streamline the Intel offering. That said, “Intel Processor” will form the core of Intel’s essential segment of devices, i.e., budget computers.
The discontinuation of Pentium and Celeron chips aligns with Intel’s plans regarding flagship chip series such as Intel Core, Intel Evo, and Intel vPro. By streamlining the entry-level offering, Intel will be able to focus more on its flagship models and keep delivering the highest quality chips that run some of the most powerful PCs today.
The decision to package two separate chips into one entry-level release, "Intel Processor,” should help the brand enhance customer communication on each product's value proposition while simplifying the customers' purchasing experience. Differentiation between Pentium and Celeron is a redundancy from a bygone era when Pentiums were peak chip series while Celerons defined the low-budget segment.
Nowadays, there’s no need for such unnecessary segmentations, hence the “Intel Processor” replacement. While the nomenclature will change, “Intel Processor” will still include multiple processor families rather than becoming a new product altogether.
According to the company:
The first Pentium came about in 1993 and was the world's first mass-produced superscalar microprocessor, meaning it could execute at least two instructions per clock instead of just one. It was Intel’s flagship chip for almost a decade until Intel Core arrived. Pentium powered only the high-end computers (and notebooks later on).
Celeron, a chip based on Pentium II, first appeared in 1998. It powered lower-end PCs and budget builds and is more or less obsolete.
Pentium chips are the stuff of legend and a significant milestone in the history of personal computing. They single-handedly helped raise the standard of computing. Josh Newman, VP and GM of Mobile Innovation at Intel, echoed this sentiment.
There’s no denying that the new branding will make purchasing decisions easier, but it is still a goodbye to a dear old friend.