Celeron is a brand name given by Intel Corp. to a number of different x86 computer microprocessor models targeted at budget personal computers.
Celeron processors can run all IA-32 computer programs, but their performance is often significantly lower when compared to similar CPUs with higher-priced Intel CPU brands. For example, the Celeron brand will often have less cache memory, or have advanced features purposely disabled. These missing features can have a variable impact on performance, but is often very substantial. While a few of the Celeron designs have achieved surprising performance, most of the Celeron line has exhibited noticeably degraded performance. This has been the primary justification for the higher cost of other Intel CPU brands versus the Celeron range.
Introduced in April 1998, the first Celeron branded CPU was based on the Pentium II branded core. Subsequent Celeron branded CPUs were based on the Pentium III, Pentium 4, Pentium M, and Intel Core branded processors. The latest Celeron design (as of July 2011) is based on the second generation Core i3/i5/i7 series (Sandy Bridge). This design features independent processing cores (CPUs), but with only 66% as much cache memory as the comparable Core i3 offering.