AMD and Microsoft are guaranteeing world-exclusive announcements at the upcoming System Builder Summit Europe, being held in Dublin from 11 to 13 October.
The announcements, along with a tour of Intel's Irish fabrication plant, will be among the highlights of the bi-annual event, organised by analyst Gartner. The summit is a fixed feature in the calendar of leading components manufacturers and system builders.
This year 40 vendors and 140 system builders from around Europe, including many from the UK, will attend.
Although there will be some Gartner briefings looking at the state of the system builder sector, this event is all about business. Over the three days, system builder delegates will be encouraged to strike deals with as many relevant vendors as possible.
Les Billing, managing director of Microtronica, said the event offers strong business opportunities. "Generally speaking, these events are a good place to meet both customers and suppliers, and we have secured new business as a result of being at similar events in the past," he said.
The market for system builders is tough at the moment but the sector remains an important one for component vendors, according to Gartner.
Ranjit Atwal, an analyst at the research firm, said: "European system builders are struggling, with heavy price competition from international vendors on notebook PCs shutting them out of that part of the market. Those in more focused areas such as education and government are doing better.
"We believe that ultimately only one or two major local vendors will exist in each country market. There will also be a lot of much smaller ones, but these will be less focused on assembly, and more on services. System builders are important and the sector remains a big part of the market - about 25 to 30 per cent."
Billing said the system builder community needs to continuously evaluate itself to focus on adding value for customers in an increasingly competitive market.
"Most system builders are doing a lot more than just flogging tin. They are on hand to install new software and sort out problems. There are more small businesses here than in the US and they all need more help and support," he said.
"Big vendors such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Dell are always banging on about how important the SME sector is, but in the past 15 years none of them have managed to get control of it. Businesses are generally not interested in the branding on the box - they just want the equipment to work.
"System builders should start recognising the value they bring to this sector."
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