AMD planning U.S. developer conference

After years of holding meetings with analysts and media at rival Intel Corp.’s biannual developer conferences, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) plans to host its own developer conference this year in the U.S.

A source close to AMD said the conference would take place in the second quarter, right around the time that Microsoft Corp. is expected to finally release a 64-bit production version of the Windows operating system that works with AMD’s 64-bit desktop processors. A report about the planned conference first appeared on The Inquirer, a technology news Web site. AMD is coming off a very successful year in which it gained market share and mainstream attention based on demand for its Opteron and Athlon 64 processors. Text

AMD is eyeing Las Vegas and Phoenix as potential sites for the conference, the source said.

“It’s something we’re interested in doing, but it’s something we haven’t announced officially. The time is right,” said Mike Simonoff, an AMD spokesman. He declined to comment on potential dates or locations for an AMD conference.

AMD is coming off a very successful year in which it gained market share and mainstream attention based on demand for its Opteron and Athlon 64 processors. Opteron servers are available from three of the world’s four largest server vendors, and Athlon 64 desktops are prominently displayed in many retail stores.

With the growing attention being paid to AMD and the increasing number of servers and PCs based on the Sunnyvale, Calif., company’s 64-bit chips, it’s natural that it would hold a conference to educate Windows developers about its products, said Kevin Krewell, editor in chief of The Microprocessor Report in San Jose.

Intel uses its Intel Developer Forums (IDFs) to brief hardware and software developers on its plans for upcoming products. Numerous technical sessions about Intel products take place during the three-day events, which are held around the world.

Despite releasing chips with 64-bit extensions to the x86 instruction set more than a year after AMD, Intel has taken the lead in training developers on the beta version of the 64-bit Windows operating system currently available for both Intel and AMD chips, Krewell said. Holding its own conference will give AMD a chance to put its own stamp on that training, he said.

The U.S. IDF conferences also draw a large media contingent from around the world to meet with Intel executives and engineers. In previous years, AMD took advantage of that crowd by holding its own briefings for reporters and analysts in hotel suites close to downtown San Francisco and San Jose.

AMD held a developer conference in the late 1990s to promote its 3DNow extensions for multimedia applications and the launch of its K6-2 processor, but hasn’t done anything like that since, said Krewell, who used to work in marketing for AMD

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