Nvidia Seeds Businesses, Channel With Logo ProgramBy Mark Hachman | Print
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Nvidia has quietly contacted many of the top channel vendors, including AMD, and tier-2 and tier-3 system builders, attempting to put in place an Nvidia Business Platform.Nvidia, in a partnership with AMD, has set out to oust Intel from the SMB channel.
Nvidia has quietly contacted many of the top channel vendors and tier-2 and tier-3 system builders, attempting to put in place an Nvidia Business Platform that will certify new machines and put in place a stable image process that will remain fixed for a year's time.
Nvidia's program is an outgrowth and complement to AMD's own Commercial Stable Image Platform (CSIP),
Intel later agreed to design a single chipset for its government and large OEM clients, and pledged to use a single software driver, or stable image, for the year-long life of the platform. In January 2003, Intel launched the Stable Image Platform Program, formerly code-named Granite Peak.
Nvidia historically has been a supplier of enthusiast graphics chips and chipsets for home PCs, while AMD has found success in selling its Athlon64 chips to home PCs, and its Opteron line of server microprocessors into corporate environments. But the tier-2 and channel market is a 20-million-unit opportunity largely served by Intel, according to David Ragones, a product manager at Nvidia.
"We've been in close alignment with AMD with their stable image platform, and we're going out together," Ragones said. "We're synchronized with their deployment configuration."
Nvidia has also participated in the workstation market and penetrated back offices with Nvidia-based visualization systems. For that reason, Gartner analyst Martin Reynolds said his firm is now recommending the systems over those from ATI. Leslie Fiering, vice president of mobile computing for Gartner said that when AMD first announced its CSIP program the analyst firm endorsed it strongly. At that time, however, the company did not endorse a specific CSIP partner.
"We are recommending them as a good platform for AMD processors in a business setting," Reynolds wrote in an email. "We make this recommendation over ATI because of Nvidia's experience in server systems. And we believe that they understand stability better than the chipset manufacturers."
Nvidia's program has certified four motherboard manufacturers: Asus, Foxconn, Gigabyte, and MSI. Each board contains either an AMD Athlon64 or Athlon X2 processor as well as an nForce 430 chipset, with an on-board GeForce 6150 graphics processor. Peripherals like hard drives and optical storage are left up to the discretion of the OEM, Ragones said.
Like the other stable image programs, Nvidia's work on a fifteen-month cycle: three months of evaluation, twelve months of production, and a further 24 months of support, managed by the OEM or channel partner. The evaluation window begins on Sept. 1, with production commencing on Nov. 1 closer to the actual government procurement timetable than what its competitors offer, Ragones said.