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IBM and HP to release Itanium 2 systems

IBM is planning to announce its first Itanium 2 server this week, ending speculation about the strength of the company's commitment to Intel's processor, according to sources.

IBM's x450 server was shown last year at Linuxworld and said the server would feature between four and eight Itanium 2 processors.

IBM has its own chip for 64-bit servers, the Power4, which had led many observers to question IBM's desire to release a system based on a competing chip.

The company did build a cluster of Itanium 2-based servers for the National Center of Supercomputing Applications last year, but had been quiet about its plans for the Itanium 2 processor.

Hewlett-Packard said it would ship two Itanium 2-based workstations for the high-performance computing market that run Microsoft's Windows XP 64-bit Edition Version 2003 operating system.

The workstations are the first HP products to make use of the new operating system that is tailored for Itanium products.

A 64-bit version for Advanced Micro Devices's Opteron processor will be released later this year by Microsoft. The zx2000 and zx6000 will be available on 1 May and cost $3,298 (£2,067) and $4,896 (£3,069), respectively.


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