AMD May Axe Microprocessor Brand-Names - Document

AMD's Chips May Lose Their Names

by Anton Shilov
02/10/2011 | 09:41 AM

Advanced Micro Devices may can specific brand-names of its microprocessors in order to emphasize its corporate AMD Vision trademark and attract attention to its corporate brand. As a result of the move, Athlon, Phenom and Sempron will vanish into oblivion.


When AMD completes its consumer desktop processor lineup with code-named Llano and Zambezi microprocessors later this year, it will not introduce any new brand-names for them, but will divide then into different classes of its Vision platforms, according to a document seen by X-bit labs. Instead of traditional Phenom, Athlon and Sempron, AMD's product family will include FX-series, A-series and E-series microprocessors.

The code-named Zambezi processors based on Bulldozer micro-architecture with four, six or eight cores will belong to FX-series and will be sold under AMD Vision Black and AMD Vision Ultimate labels.

The accelerated processing units known as Llano - which will have two or four cores as well as ATI Radeon HD 6000-class graphics core - will become A-series processors. Such chips will power AMD Vision Ultimate and AMD Vision Premium platforms.

The low-end of the market will continue to be served E-series accelerated processing units with one or two cores and a basic Radeon HD 6000-class graphics endine code-named Zacate under AMD Vision sticker.

While it is regrettable that brands like Athlon, Phenom or Sempron will be essentially gone (provided that the information is correct), from marketing perspective the decision is hardly very strange. For example, Mercedes does not name its cars, but has various classes (A, B, C, E, R, S, etc.) that may be based on similar chassis, engines, etc., but provide experience that is expected from a particular class (e.g., A provides maximum compactness, S provides maximum comfort).

A transition to any new branding scheme naturally takes time, so the end-users will most-likely have a hard time understanding the difference between AMD Vision Ultimate FX-based system and an AMD Vision Ultimate A-based personal computer.

"What you saw AMD do with APUs on the 'Brazos' platform is get component-level branding out of the way so that our OEM partners can imbue their products with branding of their choosing without sub-brands cluttering things up. Vision is AMD's contribution, which comes with the intention of simplifying the purchasing for folks who know what they want to do with their PC and don't care to learn the intricate sub-component technical nuances to make a buying decision. Will we do the same with Llano and Zambezi?  You'll have to wait and see," said Damon Muzny, a spokesman for AMD.