The baseball organization will standardize on AMD technology, starting with HP all-in-one PCs to enable fans to make votes for the All-Star team.
Advanced Micro Devices will have a growing
presence at the San Francisco Giants ball field over the next three years.
Officials with AMD and the Giants announced a
multi-year partnership June 26 that will include the baseball team
standardizing its customer-facing and corporate computing systems on AMDs
processors, starting with 66 TouchSmart 320m all-in-one (AiO) touch-screen PCs
from Hewlett-Packard that are enabling fans to make their votes for the
All-Star roster from the stadium.
In addition to the AiOs in the luxury suites,
over the course of the partnership, the Giants organization will standardize
its front-office operations with AMD-based desktop PCs and notebooks and will
add servers powered by AMDs
to its data centers.
Until now, the Giants computing systems
represented a mix of vendor platforms, including technologies from both AMD and
its larger rival, Intel, according to Giants CIO Bill Schlough. However, given
the growing trend of more video and graphics crossing the ball clubs networks
from fans and employees alike, it was important to find the best technology to
handle the increasing demand, Schlough said in an interview with eWEEK
AMD has that technology, he said.
It feels to us that AMD is really positioned
well in the areas where we want to innovate, Schlough said. Thats in video
He pointed to the perfect game that pitcher
Matt Cain threw for the Giants June 13. At the end of the game, fans uploaded
more than 70GB onto the stadiums networksmore than in any of the World Series
games the team played in San Francisco in 2010and the bulk of that was in
photos and videos.
Thats part of a larger trend thats seeing
not only fans, but players, coaches and club employees as well demanding a
high-quality online experience at AT&T Park that can handle the graphics
and video theyre using.
AMD in 2006 bought graphics technology vendor
ATI for about $5.4 billion, and has since grown its graphics chips
capabilities. Last year AMD introduced the first of its accelerated processing
units (APUs), which integrated both the CPU and graphics technology onto the
same piece of silicon. The company this year is rolling out the next-generation
APUs, including its recently released A-Series
, which officials said offer greater performance and energy
efficiency than previous APUs.
The deal with the Giants not only gives AMD a
high-profile business partner, but also will enable the chip maker to
demonstrate how its products can help other enterprises, according to Lisa Su,
senior vice president and general manager of AMDs Global Business Units.
Our technology partnership with the San
Francisco Giants puts AMD in a great position to showcase the role AMD
technology can play to help large organizations harness the trends around
consumerization, the cloud and convergence to drive their business, Su said in
The Giants Schlough said AMDs technology is
what the organization needs to accommodate the growing number of mobile devices
fans are bringing to the stadium and players and employees are using at work. Five
years ago, about 1 percent of the fans who came to games would connect to the
stadiums WiFi network. Now 30 percent of fans do, and the number will continue
to grow, Schlough said. And theyre pushing more videos and photos over the
People are not just bringing their phones to
the ballpark and making a phone call, or texting to say to someone, Meet me at
the statue, he said. They want to share their experience.
Players and coaches are given tablets, which
they use for everything from creating scouting reports to watching game films,
Schlough said, while employees are using more video with their systems. Thats
where the club will rely a lot on AMD technology, he said.
For now, having the HP TouchSmart 320m AiO
touch-screen PCs has enabled Giants fans at the ballpark to stay a step ahead
of those at other fields when it comes to All-Star Game voting, he said. The
deadline for voting is midnight Eastern Time June 28, and Major League Baseball
(MLB) has stopped handing out paper ballots at ballparks, leaving most fans now
with voting online and through mobile devices as their only alternatives.
However, fans at AT&T Park can still vote at the ball field through the HP
AiOs, which now have MLBs All-Star voting page as the systems home page.
It not only gives Giants fans more time to
vote from the ballpark, but could also mean a few more votes for Giants
players, he said.
Sports and entertainment arenas increasingly
are leveraging technology to add to the fan experience and improve operations,
and some tech vendors are seeing growth opportunities there. Probably the most
active has been networking giant Cisco Systems, which has created a business
unit around the segment and has its technologies in such buildings as Dallas
Cowboy Stadium and New
, which houses the New York Giants and Jets.