AMD to push 64-bit computing with approved motherboard platforms

Font color=red>Advanced Micro Devices Inc. has announced a new channel program that it says will help solution providers sell commercial systems based on its AMD64 technology and best-of-breed platform solutions.

Dubbed AMD Validated Solutions (AVS), the program provides partners with branded commercial desktop motherboards from several manufacturers that have been tested and validated by the chipmaker. In addition, post-sales technical service, support and warranty replacements will now be offered on the platforms under AVS.

“For partners, one of the important things when delivering desktops to medium and large businesses is having confidence in the platform,” said Gary Bixler, director of worldwide channel marketing at AMD.

“This (AVS) gives partners the assurance they were looking for and we backed that up by putting a logo on those platforms to ensure they are commercial grade,” added Bixler.

Designed to support the latest AMD processor technology and best-of-breed components from its infrastructure partners, Bixler said the AVS platforms deliver a feature set, performance and functionality that exceed the requirements of commercial customers.

The first solutions to be validated and supported by the AVS program are four motherboards leveraging AMD Commercial Stable Image Platform (CSIP) chipsets.

The motherboards will provide an easy way for solution providers to assemble commercial desktop systems from a host of stable socket AM2-based AMD processors as well as chipsets and stable drivers from platform providers, the company said.

AVS will act as an umbrella for all platform initiatives going forward, said Bixler.

In the first half of 2007, AMD plans to add validated server platforms under AVS and “in the future,” he said, ”we’re looking to extend this program to support the mobile white book space.”

Bixler added that in order to participate in the AVS program, “you need to be a member of AMD’s Solution Provider program.”

“You don’t have to be a part of the Solution Provider program to buy the platforms, but you will have to be a member to get the benefits of the service and support that comes with those (AVS) platforms,” he said.

Bixler said a large differentiator between AMD and rival Intel when it comes to branding platforms is choice.

“Our interests and the interest of our channel and customers are best served by enabling choice and innovation,” he said. “By working with partners who have made it their business to drive the best innovation in things like graphics, chipsets, Ethernet and wireless also enables them to innovate around our processors.”

AMD has teamed with motherboard providers Asus, ECS and MSI to bring client AVS platforms to the channel. According to the company, these motherboards leverage the CSIP chipsets from NVIDIA and ATI Technologies, delivering socket AM2 platforms with a defined 15-month stability period, which began last month.

According to Michelle Warren, senior analyst at Partner Research of Toronto, AMD has a trusted name in desktop and server applications and “AMD 64-bit computing has won a lot of accolades so it’s building upon that strength which is powerful for commercial purchasers.”

“Certain systems builders prefer AMD and this program gives them an edge, another tool they can use to sell their systems,” she said.

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