by Anton Shilov
07/08/2010 | 04:19 PM
Introduced in April, 1998, Intel Celeron central processing units (CPUs) have adopter every major micro-architecture Intel introduced: the P6, Netburst and Core 2, but not Nehalem. It looks like the Celeron may be living its final days.
The new 2010 family of microprocessors – based on Arrandale, Clarkdale, Clarksfield and Lynnfield designs – are available at various price-points and under different brands, including Core i as well as Pentium. But the Celeron microprocessors, which were meant to power affordable systems, are still based on the Core 2 micro-architecture. Based on the desktop roadmaps seen by X-bit labs, Celeron chips are not projected to receive Clarkdale/Nehalem or Sandy Bridge cores. Essentially, this means that once Core 2-micro-architecture chips are gone, the Celeron family is as well.
At present Celeron-branded desktop chips are based on Wolfdale 1M (45nm) and Conroe-L (65 nm) designs, which are two and four years old, respectively. The share of such microprocessors among all desktop chips that Intel ships was slightly higher than 6% in Q2 2010, will be around 5% this quarter and will shrink to about 4% in the fourth quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of next year, according to sources with knowledge of the matter. In general, Celeron microprocessors have even smaller unit share than Atom-branded chips even in their stronghold: the desktop CPU market.
In the mobile segment the situation seems to be very similar. The share of Atom microprocessors is growing and the share of Celeron-branded chips is declining. Back in June ’10 Intel introduced its first dual-core Atom microprocessors designed for netbooks. The chipmaker promised that dual-core Atom chips would enable more responsive computing environments for both desktops and netbooks. Meanwhile, pricing of dual-core Atom for desktops is higher compared to the original chips and is comparable to higher-performance Celeron products. Moreover, according to DigiTimes web-site, the rumour has it that Intel reportedly plans to phase out Celeron processors and let Atom CPUs taking over the entry-level notebook segment.
Intel’s product line these days is somewhat overcrowded in general. The nomenclature attributed to Core i7/i5/i3 microprocessors is hardly understood by those, who consider between them as well as Pentium, Celeron or Atom-based products. Eliminating Celeron brand will naturally make Atom chips a default option for low-cost low-power systems, but the gap in performance between Atom and Pentium will naturally be gigantic thanks to the fact that the latter utilizes state-of-the-art micro-architectures.
Intel said it does not comment on rumours or speculations.