Sun prepares to unveil Opteron-based servers

Sun Microsystems is to build servers based on Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron chip.

Sun Microsystems is to build servers based on Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron chip.

Sun sells servers based on Intel's Xeon processors, but chairman, president and chief executive Officer Scott McNealy will shed light on Sun's plans to adopt the Opteron chip during his keynote address at Comdex today.

This year, Sun said it would offer a version of Solaris for Opteron, and executives have spoken favourably of the AMD chip.

"We're selling x86-based equipment today, and I can look at Opteron as a 64-bit processor with the advantage that it is not limited to 32-bits," said Andy Ingram, a Sun vice president of marketing.

IBM is the only other major US server company to use the Opteron in a server, announcing its plans for the eServer 325 during the Opteron launch event in April.

While Sun has recognised the need to offer a low-end server based on the x86 instruction set which runs Intel and AMD's processors, it competes strongly for the high end of the market with Intel's Itanium 2 processor. This makes the company more inclined to support an Intel competitor, analysts have said.

Tom Krazit and Robert McMillan write for IDG News Service



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