Intel drops Centrino Atom branding

Intel has said it is dropping the Centrino' name from its Atom chipset branding , just five months after its launch.

The Atom name will remain as a standalone brand for the ultra-low-cost mobile PC market, or what the chipmaker has dubbed the 'mobile internet device' (MID), to simplify understanding of its product ranges.

The Centrino Atom had formerly been known by the codename Menlow,' which included the low-power Atom processor and a single-chip chipset.

But after fanfare at the Intel Developer Forum launch of the Centrino Atom in March, the market for MIDs or netbooks' as they are also called, hasn't taken off the way Intel was expecting it to - despite the devices expected to sell millions in the next few years.

Although the Atom hoped to build on the recognition of Intel's Centrino branding of its laptop processor business, MIDs were not allowed to use the Centrino Atom brand because they used a different version of the Atom processor and a traditional two-chip chipset, causing confusion.

Nick Jacobs, Intel spokesman said: "We are coalescing our efforts around 'Atom' as the single brand for internet devices."

Intel would not be drawn on the lack of devices brought to market that feature its Atom processors since its launch, but it's thought this was another factor in the re-branding decision.

The chipmaker said it had notified hardware makers of the branding change, while MIDs will now be branded Atom, instead of Centrino Atom.

The change comes at the same time as Intel is preparing to expand its Core brand with its upcoming Nehalem processor line, eventually replacing the Core 2 brand used with Intel's current chips for high-end PCs.

The decision has thrown new light on the comments of Roger Kay, an analyst with market researcher, Endpoint Technologies Associates. At the time of the Atom's launch earlier this year he told IT PRO the demand for MIDs was likely to "go a little more slowly than Intel would like."

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.