AMD launches Business Class platform

The chipmaker says the enterprise-focused platform, which comes with a new line-up of Phenom and Athlon processors, will offer guaranteed stability for at least two years
Written by Rupert Goodwins, Contributor and  David Meyer, Contributor

AMD has released a series of chips which it claims has the stability and performance required for machines aimed at business users.

On Monday the chipmaker launched what it is calling its Business Class platform, previously code-named Hardcastle. The new line-up of business chips will include AMD Athlon and AMD Phenom processors for desktop machines.According to AMD, its first commercial Business Class notebooks will be based on the company's upcoming Puma platform.

The Business Class desktop CPUs unveiled include the quad-core Phenom X4 9600B, the triple-core Phenom X3 9600B, the dual-core Athlon X2 4450B and the single-core Athlon 1640B. All processors will be clearly marked with the suffix "B" in their product names.

"At its heart, AMD Business Class processors are based on the same innovative technology that powers the world's most advanced servers," said AMD's president and chief operating officer, Dirk Meyer. "Our [products] are designed to give commercial customers the assurance that platforms are designed with their business in mind to help get more from their computing infrastructure, longer."

All the processors offer "up-to-24-month" stability on the initial models, with "minimum 12-month" stability promised for subsequent enhanced-speed versions.

Although no details were released of integral system management features, the company has said it was working with chipmakers Broadcom and Marvell to let its OEM partners "deliver consistent and competitive Dash-compliant solutions beginning in the second half of 2008". Dash — the Desktop and Mobile Architecture for System Hardware — is a web services-based industry standard for system inventory, diagnostics and control.

Intel, whose competing AMT management standard has been part of its Vpro business platform for a couple of years, has said AMT 3.2.1, due around June, will be Dash compliant.

Dell and HP have already announced new machines based on the Business Class platform. On Monday HP introduced the Compaq dc5850 business PC, with the manufacturer's vice president and general manager, Alan Reed, claiming Business Class would satisfy corporate customers' desire for image stability.

Unveiling the Phenom-based Dell OptiPlex 740, Dell's product group manager Darrel Ward said Business Class promised "systems that are extremely manageable, stable and energy efficient".

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