Intel is focusing on branding its upcoming family of CPUs more as ‘4th generation Intel Core' processors than as ‘Haswell’ processors before it is launched. It seems to have come to the company’s notice that since codenames such as “Sandy Bridge,” “Ivy Bridge” and “Haswell” are usually easier to use than the official product names in casual discussion and descriptions, they are easily confused with regard to the actual name of the products. Intel is looking to rectify this for its next line of processors, and as a result, we’re going to see/hear a lot less about ‘Haswell’ processors and more about ‘4th generation Intel Core’ processors, even though the products won’t launch until the second half of 2013.

Intel’s branding team seems to have taken up this issue after Wall Street Journal technology columnist Walt Mossberg advised consumers in his spring buyer’s guide earlier this year to wait for the “Ivy Bridge” family of chips before buying a laptop.


It's '4th generation Core'! NOT 'Haswell'!

“No one can go to a store and buy a ‘Haswell‘ system,” said Brian Fravel, who oversees Intel’s global brand strategy. “The easy thing is to use ‘Haswell’ and build equity in the codename instead of the product name. But there’s a problem with that,” he said. “When we launched ’3rd generation Core,’ Walt Mossberg said people should buy an ‘Ivy Bridge’ processor. The endorsement was great, but from a brand perspective, that wasn’t helping us at all. No one can buy an ‘Ivy Bridge’ computer.”

A report by Intel Free Press states this is a shift from past launches, where the codename is intended to fade as the products become available. Intel is looking to first change the trend of using codenames in-house. As per the report, a recent internal communiqué urged employees to use the proper brand name and not the codename whenever possible, including executive keynotes and class presentations at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

“There’s nothing wrong with asking our speakers to first call it ’4th generation Intel Core’, codename ‘Haswell’,” said Fravel. “No one’s saying you must say ’4th generation Intel Core’ or telling reporters it must be ’4th generation Intel Core’.” He added that while using codenames in general conversation was acceptable, it should be more of an exception than the norm.

“There are good reasons to have codenames,” he said. “Typically, they are created years in advance of a product launch. However, there comes a day well before launch when we do brand name the product. From that point forward, we have the opportunity to build and reinforce the brand instead of the codename,” he added.

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