AMD Looks to Be Better

The chip maker is looking to differentiate itself from Intel by offering a package that the company says will allow PCs to take full advantage of Microsoft's Vista.

Advance Micro Devices is looking to make PCs "better."

The Sunnyvale, Calif. company is launching its "Better by Design" program at the CES expo in Las Vegas on Jan. 9. The program, according to AMD officials, will allow users to take full advantage of the features and applications that come with the new Microsoft Windows Vista operating system.

The consumer version of Vista is scheduled for release on Jan. 30. The enterprise version has been available since November 30.

The "Better by Design" label is AMDs way of showing commercial and consumer users that their PC of choice, whether its a notebook or desktop, has the right combination of AMD processors, graphics chips and wireless capabilities that can support and take full advantage of Vista, said Bahr Mahony, the director of AMDs mobile division.

The label means that a PC will come equipped with either AMDs 64-bit Athlon X2 dual-core processor for desktops or the Turion X2 dual-core processor for notebooks. The label also means that the PC will carry either an ATI or Nvidia graphics chip, which will support the graphics-intensive Vista, and use wireless technology from Airgo, Atheros or Broadcom.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read more about AMDs acquisition of ATI in 2006.

The goal of offering this type of ecosystem in a PC, especially in notebooks, is to allow both consumers and commercial users to take full advantage of an operating system like Vista, while those who travel can remain connected to the Internet or a companys VPN.

"People are much more on the go and we have seen a dramatic increase in the sale of notebooks in just the past year," Mahony said. "What we want is to be able to let our users to be more productive, whether they are on the road or in the office."

Before a PC can carry the "Better by Design" label, AMD will subject the notebook or desktop to a validation process to ensure that the internal ecosystem carries that right combination of processor, graphics chip and wireless technology.

By offering this program, AMD is hoping to differentiate itself from its main rival, Intel, which has also been touting the benefits of its processors at CES. At the start of the show, Intel, which is based in Santa Clara, Calif., announced that it would begin offering its Core 2 Quad quad-core processor for mainstream desktops.

The two companies have also been in competition with different multimedia platforms. Intel has been demonstrating its Viiv technology and AMD launched a new version of its Live platform for notebooks at this weeks show.

AMD plans on offering the first "Better by Design" labels in notebooks and desktops by the end of January. Those OEMs that have lined up to offer these specially labeled PCs include Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Acer, Lenovo, Gateway, NEC and Tsinghua Tongfang.

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