You have to give it to AMD, there is only one aspect of marketing they mastered throughout the years and that is picking really catchy product and code names. The AMD Athlon, which is ancient Greek for 'champion of the games', a processor first introduced in 1999, comes to mind for example. The Athlon processor heralded the return of AMD to the performance area that was previously dominated by Intel with its Pentium III. The second generation Athlon processor, based on the Thunderbird core, continued that success and was the most successful AMD product to date.
After the Thunderbird's success Intel's Pentium 4 processors slowly started to gain on AMD's offerings, making it harder for the fourth generation of Athlon, code named Thoroughbred, to maintain their performance lead. However with the eighth generation of the Athlon processor, dubbed the Athlon 64, AMD delivered another sensitive blow to Intel's market position. The Athlon 64, adeptly code-named the Hammer, offered support for 64-bit computing, a first on the desktop, along with a performance level that surpassed Intel's. Even Intel's Extreme Edition Pentium 4, which was released days after the launch of the Athlon 64, could not match its performance and was dubbed 'Emergency Edition' by some.
The successor to the K8 architecture that was the basis of the Athlon 64 however was not able to follow suit. The K10 architecture was given the Phenom code name, short for 'phenomenal'; unfortunately this new architecture did not pay homage to its code name. The Phenom processor failed to surpass Intel's Core 2 Duo and Quad processors in performance and AMD was once again delegated to the back seat. Yesterday AMD once again stepped up to the plate with the all new Phenom II. Performance has indeed improved considerably, but AMD is late to the game. With the release of the Intel Core i7 processors Intel had taken a huge step forward, a performance gap which even the Phenom II cannot close.
And here is where AMD unfortunately slips up in the naming department. In an attempt to hitch a ride with Intel's Core i7 offerings, AMD has chosen to use the same product names as Intel. So there is a 920 Intel processor, as well as an 920 AMD processor. I can see the confusion already when Joe Average goes out to buy a new PC with a '920 processor'. Unless he knows the Intel processor offers the best performance he might be going home with an AMD instead. So I guess this is where the tradition of picking really catchy product and code names ends for AMD, as this certainly is not so phenomenal marketing.