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Intel's retiring the Pentium: a chip brand so famous Weird Al once wrote a song about it


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Intel announced a new processor simply called the "Intel Processor," which is meant to replace the Pentium and Celeron line of entry-level CPUs the chipmaker plans to retire in 2023. 

Intel says it will "retire the Intel Pentium and Intel Celeron branding beginning in Q1 2023," and the decision is to "sharpen on its focus of flagship brands" such as Intel Core, EVO, and vPro. The Intel Processor will debut inside its upcoming 'Essential' line of PCs, which are entry-level systems. 

The Pentium chip was released in 1993 and served as Intel's flagship CPU for almost a decade before the Intel Core line of chips took its place. Since then, Pentium chips have been primarily found in entry-level workstation desktops and laptops.

The Celeron was introduced in 1998 as a CPU for budget and low-end systems. Like the Pentium chips, you can find Celeron processors mostly inside low-powered Intel notebooks. According to Intel, retiring the Pentium and Celeron branding in favor of Intel Processor is about simplifying its product lines. 

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"Intel is committed to driving innovation to benefit users, and our entry-level processor families have been crucial for raising the PC standard across all price points, says Josh Newman, VP of mobile client platforms, in a blog post. "The new Intel Processor branding will simplify our offerings so users can focus on choosing the right processor for their needs.”

I can't help but feel a bit of nostalgia for the Pentium chip. If you're my age, your first PC was powered by a Pentium or Celeron chip. And for a long while, having a PC with a Pentium chip meant working with some serious horsepower.

Like the great Weird Al Yankovic once said of the doomed Pentium processor, "While your computer's crashin', mine's multitaskin'. It does all my work without me even askin'." 

Thanks, Pentium chip. You earned your retirement.

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