AMD Selects Embedded BIOS with StrongFrame for Reference Design Kit

General Software, Inc. was selected by AMD (NYSE:AMD) to provide its Embedded BIOS(R) with StrongFrame(TM) Technology firmware for the AMD Geode(TM) LX UVC Reference Design Kit (RDK), it was announced. The AMD Geode LX UVC RDK brings together a small form factor design, x86 application compatibility, high processor performance and low power consumption to provide a complete product development solution enabling the quick and efficient creation of ultra-value products. These include single board computers (SBCs), point-of-sale (POS) devices, corporate thin clients, network appliances and kiosks.

During the development process, General Software provided proprietary functionality for the platform that enables AMD to offer a solution that minimizes cost, improves performance, provides extensible integration and drives form factor definition. To meet AMD’s product introduction schedule, General Software used its Embedded BIOS firmware, with 1,000 configuration options at the source code-level to fine-tune a perfect-fit BIOS for the platform.

The same tools used to build the custom BIOS for AMD’s reference design are now available to qualified ODMs and OEMs from General Software. As an option, General Software makes available its adaptation work, including the configuration files for the AMD UVC platform, allowing ODMs and OEMs to start with firmware already designed around the platform, allowing them to build a perfect-fit BIOS in minutes, instead of weeks.

The UVC’s introduction continues a market trend toward more specialized and differentiated Ultra Mobile PCs, a new category of mobile devices optimized for specific usage models such as Internet-to-go, Entertainment-to-go, and Education-to-go, while providing full PC capability and versatility. UMPC devices are expected to be small enough so they are easy to carry, deliver long battery life, have multiple wireless options, and are location aware so it can be adapted to personal needs.

“The Ultra Value Client Product Market is a key initiative for AMD. We turned to General Software because we needed to deliver a low-cost reference design kit that enables faster time to market for our customers, a small form factor, high-performance and low cost,” said Jeff Chu, division marketing manager, Embedded Computing Solutions Division, AMD. “General Software has proven itself as a highly responsive BIOS development company for platform development projects that require specific performance, cost and time goals. For the AMD Geode LX UVC RDK, General provided on-site board bring-up and completion of the BIOS, and worked with our manufacturing partner to provide a validated and tested BIOS which met all of AMD’s technical requirements.”

The AMD Geode LX UVC RDK, based on fifth-generation RDK technology, provides a complete system design package that gives designers flexibility, versatility, and enhanced capabilities when designing a UVC or Single Board Computer. This is all in a small package measuring approximately 5.5″ x 5″. The RDK is driven by an AMD Geode(TM) LX 800@0.9W processor that delivers the flexibility of the x86 instruction set with the power to run current operating systems. The processor is complemented by the AMD Geode CS5536 companion chip, which provides general I/O support, including USB 2.0, audio and ATA 100.

“General Software was the first BIOS provider to participate in the development of Ultra Mobile Personal Computing applications. This market is fast emerging, and General continues to work with companies like AMD in pioneering new applications including the UVC which drives even deeper into this device class,” said Steve Jones, General Software’s CTO. “UVC-based applications continue to move further away from standard desktop PCs toward very specialized and differentiated applications. Our StrongFrame Technology is particularly suited for these requirements.”

General Software’s StrongFrame(TM) Technology mentioned by Jones is a framework that creates targeted cores for a wide range of applications. Unlike other firmware offerings, which have a centralized proprietary core and architectural modules for CPUs, chipsets, and other components underneath it, General Software’s system allows the core itself to be a pluggable module, enabling many cores to be supported within the same framework. StrongFrame Technology then leverages proprietary programming of CPUs, chipsets, SIOs, whole boards, and other building blocks across all General Software’s specialized cores. The result is that the same set of silicon programming modules can be used across many unique applications.

With StrongFrame Technology, OEMs can quickly produce and differentiate motherboards for multiple markets, saving money and time otherwise spent on having to independently build firmware for these markets. Original Device Manufacturers (ODMs) choose StrongFrame(TM) Technology cores to gain the strength, flexibility and long life expected from firmware supporting targeted applications that have special requirements, such as such as targeted PCs, mobile PCs, differentiated mainboards, industrial PCs, servers, telecomm/datacom equipment, and embedded devices with unique needs.

About General Software, Inc.
For nearly 20 years, General Software has provided firmware for a wide range of applications including Ultra-Mobile PCs, industrial PCs, targeted PCs, differentiated mainboards, telecom/datacom equipment, servers, blades, and embedded devices including medical, gaming, kiosks, point-of-sale, DVR, and commercial and military avionics. Original Device Manufacturers (ODMs) choose the General Software(R) brand for the domain expertise that gets customers to market quickly, reduces project risks and enables market differentiation for highly successful products. For more information about General Software e-mail, or call us at 800.850.5755 or 425.576.8300.

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