The Phenom processor is ready for business. On Monday, Dell and Hewlett-Packard refreshed their business desktop lineups with triple- and quad-core processors from Advanced Micro Devices, which is launching a small and medium-size business initiative.
Called "Business Class," the initiative pairs the new 780v chipset with triple-core Phenom X3, quad-core Phenom X4, or dual-core Athlon X2 processors.
The platform supports security and manageability standards such as the Trusted Computing Group (TCG) module, which helps to lock out rogue software, and the Desktop and mobile Architecture for System Hardware (DASH) manageability standard, a suite of specifications for standards-based Web services.
Previously known by the codename "Hardcastle," Business Class taps into both AMD processor and ATI graphics technology. "One of the reasons we acquired ATI was to get the chipset and the graphics to deliver a complete commercial client platform--desktop and notebook," said Hal Speed, an AMD marketing architect.
Speed also reiterated what other AMD executives have said: That AMD has "under-penetrated" the commercial market. The Business Class strategy targets small and medium-sized business in particular, he said.
Initially, systems will not be offered with AMD's 8X50 and 9X50 series of processors that fix the outstanding "TLB" bus in silicon. (The 8450 and 9550 will, for example, replace the 8400 and 9500).
"Our customers want stability and longevity," said Speed. "They've said to us, 'I could care less about the model number. Don't break my BIOS, don't break my client image,' " Speed said, referring to difficult-to-modify corporate PC configuration settings.
The notebook component, codenamed Puma, will be coming later this quarter, Speed said.
Puma, in fact, will likely be the more interesting platform as more notebooks replace desktops. Puma is based on the RS780M mobile chipset and the dual-core Griffin processor--now called the Turion Ultra.