AMD, Sun hold hands over Opteron

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Sun Microsystems plans to deliver Opteron-based SunFire systems, Solaris operating system software and a new ISV development program via an alliance with chip-maker AMD.

The vendor claimed the new Sun Fire servers would offer all the benefits of x86 architecture, AMD Opteron processor performance, and a choice of operating systems. Sun and AMD also plan to jointly develop other hardware and software as part of the alliance.

Sun and AMD said they would form an iForce Partner Program for AMD Opteron ISVs and developers porting applications to Sun's new Opteron-based processor systems. The program would include engineering support from both companies, a seed unit program for ISVs and a joint Developer Resource Kit available for download from the Internet.

Hector Ruiz, president and CEO of AMD, said the alliance reflected AMD's “growing acceptance” for business use. “This is another key component of our long-term strategy to lead the industry to pervasive 64-bit computing,” Ruiz said.

Sun and AMD said they would collaborate on producing a range of AMD Opteron processor-based Sun Fire systems from Sun in 2004. “The current roadmap calls for two and four-way servers to be rolled out within the next calendar year,” the companies said in a statement.

Sun and AMD would aim to accelerate platform development, optimise performance and increase enterprise adoption for Solaris and the Sun Java System on Opteron. So far, Solaris only runs in 32-bit mode on Opteron but the company promised 64-bit would become available in the first half of next year.

The two vendors would also collaborate on a future Opteron-based portfolio “beyond four-way” systems, on marketing programs and on HyperTransport implementations, the companies said.


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