The facility, says the company, will be "dedicated to providing commercial software and hardware developers worldwide access to AMD's technical expertise and validation resources."
As the company positions itself to push it's next-generation Opteron 32/64-chip into the professional server space, it undoubtedly needs to provide levels of support and service to business customers considering running "mission-critical" software on AMD platforms. This is a whole different ball-game from wooing home users with the potential power of a desktop Athlon chip, and one, indeed, which will determine the future shape of the company.
Announcing the facility Richard Heye, AMD's vice president of Platform Engineering and Infrastructure, Computation Products Group, claimed the centre would help "AMD provide the resources and support developers need to optimize powerful 64-bit applications for upcoming products based on Hammer technology."
The AMD Developer Center will offer code and development platform services, to AMD 'partners', either directly at the centre, or remotely via secure high-speed access, says the company in a statement. The aim of the centre is to allow consultation with AMD 64-bit code experts, "helping partners to accelerate their development and validation of products for the upcoming AMD processors based on Hammer technology."
Adds Heye: "With formal development resources in place, AMD's software and hardware partners are empowered to create 32-bit and 64-bit applications and drivers for the x86-64 platform."
AMD also announced the availability of SuSE's beta x86-64 Linux distribution to "more than 150 AMD partners that are currently working with AMD Opteron processor-based development platforms." Using this Linux beta distribution, says AMD, developers can create Linux-compatible x86-64 applications. The company expects SuSE x86-64 Linux distribution to coincide with the first shipments of desktop Athlon processors based on Hammer technology.
The company also introduced an x86-64 Architecture Programmer's Manual -- a five-volume guide designed to help software developers optimize applications for AMD's 64-bit x86 microprocessor architecture. µ
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