New Intel Consumer Processor Branding Is Its Biggest Shift In 15 Years

intel core ultra
If you read this site, you know what Intel's processor branding looks like. Chips named like "Intel Core i5-13600K Processor" have been the company's bread and butter since it introduced the "Core i" branding with its Nehalem processors, the first-gen Core i family. Well, that legacy has come to an end, as Intel is shifting its consumer processor branding, starting with its Meteor Lake laptop CPUs.

That's right—when Meteor Lake arrives, it won't be known as "Core i" anymore. You won't see any "Core i9-14900" processors. Instead, they'll be branded one of two ways: either the previously-leaked "Core Ultra 3/5/7/9" branding, or simply "Core 3/5/7/9" without the i.

intel new badges

While dropping the "i" from processor names in client processors is jarring, the important part of this change is really the addition of the "Core Ultra" branding. Unfortunately, Intel still didn't elaborate on exactly what "Intel Core Ultra" means to consumers relative to a non-"Ultra" processor.

We do know that it isn't simply a matter of tiering; there will seemingly be "Core 9" processors as well as "Core Ultra 9" processors. Presumably it indicates the presence of particularly powerful integrated graphics, or perhaps some sort of AI co-processors like the "VPUs" that come with some Raptor Lake machines and are rumored to be included in Meteor Lake.

Along with these changes, Intel is also going to drop the "Generation" branding in front of its processors. You won't see Intel writing "13th-generation Core" anymore. Instead, those values will simply continue to be reflected in the processor model number, i.e. "14100" indicates a 14th-gen processor.

intel branding summary

This isn't particularly relevant to most of our readers, but Intel also asks that press and analysts format the names like this: "Core Ultra 9 Processor 14900." That is, the Blue Team's marketing boys want us to wedge "Processor" between the tier indicator and the model number. That's fairly clumsy, but it does bring up the question of why we still need the 3/5/7/9 indicator in the name at all given that the model number typically includes this information anyway.

Regardless, if you see an upcoming processor named something like "Core 7 Processor 1470U," we didn't make a typo—that's just how Intel wants it to be written now. Ultimately this change doesn't affect the technology, so just be advised that your next Intel processor will drop the "i."