SOURCE: General Software

November 20, 2007 10:00 ET

AMD's Low-Cost NAS Reference Design Excels With General Software's Custom Firmware

Offers Fast Time-to-Market, Multiple Boot Methods for Compact Flash, SATA Drives and SATA RAID

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - November 20, 2007) - Enabled by General Software, Inc.'s ( customized firmware solution, AMD's (NYSE: AMD) low-cost NAS Reference Design Kit makes a significant leap beyond a generic PC-style design. Based on the AMD Geode™ LX processor and developed under the code name "Tsing Tao," the platform is one of the first truly low-cost, low power NAS (Network Attached Storage) reference designs targeted for the small business and home owner as well as other emerging markets.

AMD's vision for the design was for it to be differentiated by the needs of the market and not just act like a standard PC. General Software delivered on this goal in many ways including enabling an optimized fast boot (less than one second for POST) and providing the OEM with a variety of different boot methods such as from compact flash, a SATA drive or a SATA RAID. The result is that General Software's robust firmware and tools minimize, and in many cases eliminate, the OEM's firmware development cycle, greatly reducing their cost, risk and time-to-market.

Tsing Tao is distributed by AMD to its partners for evaluation purposes and may be used as a baseline for partners developing their own NAS designs. AMD also provides the BOM and schematics to simplify the partner's development effort and time-to-market.

Previously, NAS designs for these markets were considered too costly. With Tsing Tao, AMD combines world-class innovation and low cost in these exploding markets.

The AMD Geode™ LX NAS Reference Design Kit (RDK) is a ready-made way for companies to develop products quickly for the high growth markets for NAS components that meet customer demand for fast, secure access to stored digital data. Driven by the AMD Geode LX 800@0.9W processor, the AMD Geode LX NAS RDK enables companies to maximize use of widely available x86 application software and deliver high performance at extremely low entry price points.

General Software's firmware development for the Tsing Tao platform was a turn-key solution for AMD's design center in China. In addition to providing engineering and test services, General Software showcased its ability to meet the tight deadlines required by AMD and worked with engineering teams in multiple different time zones with different native languages.

"AMD has relied on General Software for a number of their reference designs, and time and again we've demonstrated our ability to provide the desired feature sets for the RDK's target markets within AMD's timeframe," said Craig Husa, General Software's CEO. "We work to showcase not only the firmware but also the RDK itself. If there are capabilities we can implement that are above and beyond the minimal platform requirements, we look to provide that value-add as well," continued Husa.

General Software is a long-standing AMD partner, being the BIOS firmware of choice for a variety of the AMD embedded RDKs as well as for custom firmware projects for AMD itself. General Software recently announced it is the first BIOS provider to offer commercially ready firmware for AMD's new Quad-Core AMD Opteron™ processor.

Additionally, General Software's Embedded BIOS® with StrongFrame™ Technology firmware is the first to leverage AMD's new AGESA 3 software. The newest version of AMD's AGESA is required to enable all four processors on a single core.

Embedded BIOS® with StrongFrame™ Technology, already running some of the world's largest high performance data centers, increases performance and reliability while reducing support costs with proprietary features such as:

--  a High Availability (HA) subsystem that monitors entire system health
    and "self heals" itself by implementing configurable recovery policies,
--  remote provisioning and monitoring,
--  the fastest boot in the industry (0.085 second POST, 0.838 second
    Linux boot, and 24 second Windows Vista boot),
--  a robust set of diagnostics, and
--  advanced security options

About General Software, Inc.

General Software provides 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® 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 visit, e-mail, or call us at 800.850.5755 or 425.576.8300.

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