It might be the largest private tech company you’ve never heard of. But they are likely responsible for getting your computer up and running each morning.
AMI (American Megatrends Incorporated) started in the Atlanta suburbs in the 1980s and is now responsible for the firmware used in approximately 40% of all PCs and 80% of all servers.
Those familiar with AMI might recognize the logo from your computer’s bootup screen. Founder Subramonian Shankar started developing motherboards for Dell Computers, but the team and the scope of the technology has expanded over the years. AMI now focuses on how hardware ‘talks’ to its software, better known as the basic input, output system (BIOS).
It’s a part of the computer you probably don’t think much about, says Chief Product Officer Kelly Bryant. But we should, as cyber threats get more sophisticated.
“Firmware is probably one of the largest threat vectors, meaning a lot of hackers are starting to focus on the lower level firmware and software,” Bryant told Hypepotamus. Firmware attacks have become more prevalent as the number of data centers increases and as embedded servers become more important in high-tech devices.
That is the focus on AMI’s latest product, Tektagon, a trust platform that makes sure no modifications have been made to firmware.
This is on top of other products like Aptio, which is the “bootup” technology, and MegaRAC, a remote management solution to keep worldwide servers up and running, which is used in server brands like Intel, AMD, and Ampere.
Atlanta’s Role in the Computing World
Walk around Atlanta a bit and you’ll probably run into an “Atlanta Influences Everything” branded t-shirt or jacket, which is from a local company highlighting the city’s impact on the global arts and culture.
AMI proves that Atlanta has long influenced the global computing world.
AMI has been around since 1985, and Bryant admits Atlanta might be seen as “off the beaten path” from traditional compute technology hubs. Yet it has been central to AMI’s growth.
AMI employs 1400 people across the US and at its large development centers in Taiwan and India. Many of the 400 people based in Atlanta are long-term employees who have been around for over a decade, says Bryant.
The AMI team now occupies NCR’s buildings in Duluth after the payment processing giant moved to Midtown.