Fujitsu plans to launch dual-processor and multiprocessor servers equipped with Intel's Xeon chips by the end of 2004 and follow up a year later with a range of larger servers, using as many as 128 of Intel's high-end Itanium chips, to compete in the mainframe market.
Intel and Fujitsu will also co-operate in creating a version of Linux optimised for Fujitsu systems. Fujitsu will establish a Linux division with more than 300 engineers.
The deal with Intel signals a break in Fujitsu's tradition of relying heavily on technology from Sun Microsystems. Until now, Fujitsu's Unix servers have been based largely on Sun's Solaris operating system and a version of its Sparc (Scalable Processor Architecture) Risc (reduced instruction set computer) processors made by Fujitsu.
Sun invented Sparc but later transferred ownership of its specifications to an independent, non-profit organisation, Sparc International, which licenses the technology and provides compliance testing.
The new Linux-based servers will form a "third pillar" in Fujitsu's high-performance server strategy, joining the company's existing Primepower servers and GS mainframes.