The Intel sign in front of their headquarters.
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Intel announced on Thursday that the upcoming Meteor Lake processors will bring major change to its classic naming convention. The Core i series, which has used the same branding for 15 years, will drop the “i” from its naming scheme starting with the upcoming Meteor Lake processors. Meanwhile, the Intel Core brand will now have a new segment: the performance-focused Ultra brand.

“To better align with our product strategies, we are introducing a branding structure that will help PC buyers better differentiate the best of our latest technology and our mainstream offerings,” said Caitlin Anderson, Intel’s vice president and general manager of Client Computing Group Sales, in a press release.

The changes are also part of the wider trend of tech companies emphasizing that their products are compatible with customers’ interest in artificial intelligence.

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Intel’s upcoming branding changes

Beginning in the second half of 2023, Intel will no longer use the “i” name on client processors. For example, Core i3/i5/i7/i9 will be known as Core 3/5/7/9.

The Core brand will now have two tiers: Core and Core Ultra. The more performance-focused of the two tiers will be Core Ultra. Intel Arc graphics will work with either Core or Core Ultra processors.

The change streamlines the naming system and is intended to “highlight [a] significant shift in architecture and design,” according to Intel’s marketing material.

The brand changes also include:

  • A new Intel Evo Edition platform brand for Evo-verified designs.
  • Introducing Intel vPro Enterprise and Intel vPro Essentials device labels for the relevant commercial systems.

Meteor Lake is built on the Intel 4 process node

Meteor Lake is a line of client processors — the first to be manufactured on the new Intel 4 process node. It will also be the first Intel client processor that includes a dedicated artificial intelligence engine. It is expected to be available in the second half of 2023.

The chipset configuration is Intel’s first to be designed using Foveros advanced 3D packaging.

SEE: NVIDIA has an answer to the demand for AI, too — if you happen to be in the market for a supercomputer.

Intel AI Boost is a dedicated AI engine

Intel AI Boost joins the company’s portfolio of AI accelerators (or “neural processing units“) and other supporting hardware. With many of today’s enterprises interested in deploying AI services, Intel needs to keep AI at the forefront to keep up with Apple and other competitors. It is not yet known how exactly the AI engine may be integrated into Meteor Lake products, but Intel already has AI and deep learning accelerators across other parts of its portfolio.

Alternatives to Intel Core

The largest competitors to Intel’s Core CPUs are AMD and Apple. In 2020, Apple announced that it would switch from Intel-built chips to the company’s own M1 chips in Macs. NVIDIA is also a major player in the area of AI-accelerated chips.