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What does the name 'Pentium' mean?

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October 17, 2009 11:06PM

Nothing; it's a brand name. Intel chose it because they had lost cases where they attempted to assert brand name ownership of "286", "386", "486" and related usages like "80x86" - courts decided, repeatedly, that these were generic terms for a type of architecture and not a product name (which would have been protected).

Intel wanted this kind of protection because there would be nothing to match a Pentium, on release, for a long time (on the PC platform) and they did not want other manufacturers (e.g. AMD, Cyrix, VIA) being able to later claim that their products were "Pentiums", as had happened with the previous Intel releases, and so capitalize on Intel's marketing.