AMD Guarantees VARs Platforms For Verticals

Announced in late September, the chip maker's Commercial Stable Image Platform Program promises system builders that each platform will stay in production for at least 15 months.

AMD, Sunnyvale, Calif., will put together a series of motherboards, CPUs, chips and drivers that will be available for validation every September to December and will go into production for at least 12 months afterward. The company also is providing at least 60 days of advance notice to necessary changes in the platforms.

Specific AMD motherboards, CPUs, chips and drivers will be in production for at least 15 months.

The move helps system builders meet a key demand of corporate and government customers: offering a standardized hard-drive image that can be used on all systems purchased over a specified period of time.

Such an offering is essential when selling into this market, system builders said. Many of these customers are looking to purchase systems that have the same components so that the systems are more easily managed. If a motherboard or other key component is discontinued and a specific build changes, system builders may have to offer a modified contract and rebid for the rest of the business.

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“A lot of customers are selling to hospitals and schools [and they] want a standard build every time,” said Todd Swank, director of marketing at Nor-Tech, a Burnsville, Minn.-based distributor that sells to VARs and integrators. “[Our customers] want to sell the same build for two or three years.”

AMD said the program addresses its desire to increase its market share of Athlon processors in desktops and notebooks. The company already has seen success in the server market through a host of vendors such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard and Sun, AMD said.

“Now that the Fortune 500 trusts us with Opteron servers, they can certainly trust us with client [systems],” said Pat Moorhead, AMD&s vice president of global marketing, Microprocessor Solutions Sector.

AMD&s program includes a variety of Athlon 64, Athlon 64 dual-core and Turion 64 mobile CPUs. Participants include ATI Technologies, Nvidia, Broadcom, Atheron Communications, Gigabyte Technology, ECS EliteGroup and ASUS.