AMD is hoping to claim a larger slice of the market for business PC systems with its latest AMD Pro platform. The company hopes to sway enterprise and small business buyers with the promise of a more capable device than a comparable Intel-based system.
The chip firm unveiled its second generation of AMD Pro mobile and desktop processors last week, based on the existing Carrizo and Godavari silicon but with enhanced performance and reliability features to better meet the requirements of business users.
AMD has seen its presence in the commercial laptop and desktop market decline over recent years, but said that it doubled its commercial design wins during 2013-2014, and many of these are now coming to market in the shape of new business systems based on AMD Pro from vendors such as HP and Lenovo.
AMD hopes to attract business customers by offering the performance and stability they expect, but also because the lower cost of its platform means that buyers can specify a more capable level of hardware than would otherwise be the case.
"We're planning on taking share in commercial. We plan to win more enterprise business and grow with HP, so you'll see pretty big disparity in the price points of AMD-based versus the competition," said John Hampton, AMD's director for commercial client products.
"One message we're putting out is ‘get more with AMD', because with the price differences, you can invest that back into your solution, upgrade your system with an SSD, upgrade your memory, upgrade to a full HD display or wrap-around security solutions, or do all of those at the same price," Hampton told V3.
The platform introduces a new top-end chip, the AMD Pro A12, a 3.4GHz processor with four of AMD's new Excavator cores and eight GPU cores for improved graphics performance to boost applications such as visualisation and video conferencing, according to AMD.
However, despite offering an increase of 50 percent in performance per watt over previous mobile platforms, new AMD Pro systems will offer up to double the battery life for true all-day operation while on the move, the firm claimed.
Other key features for business buyers are compliance with the DASH management standards specified by the Distributed Management Task Force, a two-year product lifecycle commitment and a promised 18-month image stability.
"On top of those assurances, we are giving customers increased levels of quality for the AMD Pro line. We are hand-picking these chips from the highest yielding wafers from fabrication," Hampton said.
AMD is also offering the AMD PRO Control Centre software for smaller companies, which is a management dashboard designed to make it easier for such customers to configure and maintain systems.
Under Windows 10, the AMD Pro platform supports Microsoft's new Enterprise Data Protection and Device Guard features, as well as the Windows Hello biometric authentication technology.
However, all these capabilities are no good unless organisations can buy systems with the new technology inside them, and AMD is showcasing the fact that HP's new EliteBook 700 Series of laptops (pictured above) is based entirely on AMD Pro, while HP and Lenovo are offering desktop systems based on AMD Pro, the HP EliteDesk 705 and the Lenovo M79 Tower.
"This is the opportunity we are talking about - the opportunity to get more value and, more importantly, to get it now," Hampton said.
"It's not often the underdog has the ability to get out in front of the competition, but we're the first to actually deliver a sixth-generation mobile processor, and we're exclusive on HP's EliteBooks, so if you want Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise on a new design, it's going to be with HP and AMD."
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