AMD: We're Not Manufacturing Motherboards

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Pat Moorhead, AMD vice president of global marketing, offered a "definitive no" when asked if the Sunnyvale, Calif., chip maker would be developing its own line of motherboards as a result of the ATI acquisition.

"It really doesn't add anything more to the equation over and above the two companies coming together," he said. Instead, AMD's tight integration between its CPU and ATI's chipset that controls many of a PCs subsystems will boost AMD's Corporate Stable Image Program (CSIP), he said.

AMD said it would acquire ATI Technologies for $5.4 billion in cash and stock. If the deal is approved by shareholders, it is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

A cadre of systems builders and VARs have long called for AMD to manufacture its own motherboards and chipsets to help control stability and quality for corporate and some government buyers, where serviceability and reducing IT support costs are crucial.

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As AMD worked to boost its presence in the commercial market, it launched the CSIP program late last year and in June said it would add to that Nvidia Business Platform , designed for its own chipsets with integrated graphics.

Todd Swank, director of marketing at Nor-tech Burnsville, Minn., said the system builder has long been encouraging AMD to make its own motherboards. He said the service and support provided with AMD rival Intel's own branded stable image platform, with 24-hour hour replacements in some cases, is a necessity when dealing with larger corporate clients.

Doug Phillips, vice president of products and solutions at Seneca Data, a system builder in North Syracuse, N.Y. agreed. "Eventually AMD will have to get to the point where Intel is" when it comes to offering a stable branded platform that includes the CPU, chipset and motherboard for the corporate market, he said.

Nevertheless, both system builders said ATI's acquisition is a good place to start. "The big take away is we have been telling AMD that they have to control their part of the ecosystem," said Phillips.