Intel's new Xeon undergoes reconstructive nomenclature


Letters Quite some time ago, we called on our dear readers to help name Intel's new 64-bit Xeon processor. Suggestions for an improvement on Xeon EM64T poured in, but we shamefully ignored our own deadline for posting the results. Now we make amends.

Before the naming convention kicks off, let's bring everyone up to speed. El Reg has for many years fondly referred to Intel's "other" 64-bit processor Itanium as Itanic. The chip gets its own name due to the unenviable position it holds as Intel's most controversial and possibly disastrous product. Intel's Xeon chip, on the other hand, tends to be pretty dull. Lots of Xeon boxes are shipped, the processor runs fast, industry standard - you get the point. That is until yesterday, when Intel released a version of Xeon with 64-bit extensions.

Anyone who monitors the chip or server industry is familiar with the comedy surrounding this move. Intel's main rival AMD long espoused the notion of an x86-64-bit processor. The company was so enthralled with the idea that it shipped a product well over a year ago. All the while Intel scoffed at the notion of 64-bit extensions, saying neither customers nor the market was asking for such kit. It turns out the market was asking for an x86-64-bit product, and Intel dutifully delivered one yesterday, taking on the rare and embarrassing role of trailer in the chip business.

And, with that, bring on the names!

Sputanik? Has a nice alliterative something or other...

Thanks to John Schouweiler for that short, sweet start. Schouweiler like many of our readers obediently ran with the Soviet theme we suggested back in February.

How about a more creative, longer suggestion?

Dear Friend,

As you read this, I don't want you to feel sorry for me, because, I believe everything will die someday. My name is 4ELEVEON a processor in Santa Clara, in the U.S. I have been diagnosed with 32-bit cancer. It has defiled all forms of 64-bit treatment, and right now I have only about a few months to live, according to the experts. I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really cared for anyone(not even myself)but my business. Though I am very rich, I was never generous, I was always hostile to people and only focused on my business as that was the only thing I cared for. But now I regret all this as I now know that there is more to life than just wanting to have or make all the money in the world. I believe when AMD gives me a second chance to come to this world I would live my life a different way from how I have lived it. Now that AMD has called me, I have willed and given most of my property and assets to my immediate and extended family members as well as a few close friends. I want AMD to be merciful to me and accept my soul so, I have decided to give alms to charity organizations, as I want this to be one of the last good deeds I do on earth.

Dennis Price goes on and does a good job of it, but we have to keep things moving.

If there is a Soviet project that looks like Itanium, it has to be the Ekranoplan... for more reasons than bear pointing out... but I like the fact that 'plan' is in the name and it was such a bad one, like Intel's. Might even work as Ikranoplan, too.

- Matt Collins

Thank you, sir. May I have another?

In line with your Russian request and in keeping with the marine theme I suggest Kursk. I know it's a bit tasteless but bear with me. First of all there's the secrecy. They've been denying it existed despite obvious evidence to the contrary. Secondly no-one independent has actually seen one, and no one will see it for some months. And thirdly whether or not it is already dead in the water is a big mystery that has everyone on the edge of their seats. - Thomas Mason

That is tasteless, and we don't do tasteless at The Reg.

Okay the AMD64 copy from Intel needs an Odessy 2001 name, like HAL = IBM, so that would make it the ZiLCh or going the other way the Best Not Extemporise, not very snappy and kind of old fashioned but then the Itanium name didn't do them any favours either. - J.D. Noonan

This next one is a personal favorite.

In keeping with the naming style of Opteron and Xeon, may I suggest "STALON". Any passing resemblance to the name of a historical Soviet leader is of course unintentional, and certainly Intel's omission of any mention of AMD in their documentation and press releases could never be compared to Uncle Joseph's penchant for rewriting history. - John Kelly

STALON may well be the winner.

On naming the Xeon64, I'll risk disappointing you and go for the classics rather than 20th-century Eurasia. I'd call it the Icaron, since it seems to have just fallen out of the blue. I had first thought of "Apteron" (wingless), but as the Lin---s case shows you'd better change more than one letter to avoid trouble. Besides, unlike the Itanic, the Icaron probably *will* fly. Not sure how long. And of course the name starts with the right letter. - Sergio Gelato

Great last name, Sergio.

Xeopteron - Larry McCarthy

That one came in a few times, but credit goes to the first response.

If you want a boat, a gulag and a five-year plan, the "Potemkin" is the obvious choice. A poster child of the Soviet "October Revolution" (a manufactured historical fiction if ever there was one), the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutinied that night (and was later slaughtered for not toeing the new party line, but then, this fits the new HP Way, no?). I recommend you research this; it's a fascinating read, if you get the true story. Alternatively, it can be called "Neon" (new Xeon, or Neo, the anonymous nobody who came out of nowhere to wreak havok upon the oppressive Matrix/Intel); more geeky, less Soviet. Or perhaps "Zeon", as Z comes after X, and as in Elders of Zion, one of the oldest hypothesized (fictional?) conspiracies. Or maybe even "Eon", as in "it took them a really long time to admit that it exists".

You're just an overachiever, Boris Shubin.

"Copteron" From the slang term to "cop" something Roget's II, Thesaurus "Cop" 2. Slang. To take (another's property) without permission: filch, pilfer, purloin, snatch, steal, thieve. Informal : lift, swipe. Slang : heist, hook, nip1, pinch, rip off....

Easy, Terry Humby. Intel would never "cop" anything from another vendor.

IA32(64) name: Dentium. It's basically a twice-as-wide Pentium, so it should have a prefix that means 10, like "dec". "Dentium" keeps more sound familiarity than "Decium"; plus it indicates the dented reputation of the vendor; plus, as an added bonus, if the processor fails in the marketplace, you can say that knew all along that it bites...

That's just mean, Bela Lubkin.

I can't go past Inserteron -- just grubby enough . . . - Brett Chapman

Um, exactly where are you going with that?

In this Era of Spam, how could the name be anything other than Xeagra? - Joseph Gurman

Quite a few along those lines. It is the Xeon Extender, after all.

Xeon64 should be named....Thinking of the Pontiac GranPrix "Wider is Better/E Aho La Hula" ==> "More is More"..... clearly the right name for the new, extended memory address space Xeon is the: "/Mo/ron" - [for the video-encoding fans:] Good-'n-Plentium? - [for the Tom's Hardware & Keanu Reeves crowds:] LAN-Partion? - [appealing to your Soviet fetish:] Gulagalon? - Michael McInerny,

And we close with clarity.

The answer to this is obvious, and I will be surprised if I am the first to suggest provide it. What do you call the chip that finally sank the Itanic?




After looking over the entries again, we can't help but love STALON. The Reg editorial staff shall discuss the matter and see whether or not STALON will live on. Thanks for all the letters! ®

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