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Sun Expands Use Of Intel Chips

The partnership isn't expected to include Intel's 64-bit Itanium processor, nor is it expected to supplant Sun's Sparc processor business.
Sun Microsystems is expected to announce a non-exclusive deal today that will expand its use of Intel Xeon chips in Sun's volume x86 servers.

Intel CEO Paul Ottelini and Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz are holding a joint announcement to talk about what they're calling a landmark alliance. The partnership isn't expected to include Intel's 64-bit Itanium processor, nor is it expected to supplant Sun's Sparc processor business.

While Sun has always allowed Intel chips into the servers that it sells, Schwartz has been a staunch supporter of the Opteron processor made by Intel's chief rival Advanced Micro Devices. Sun has spent millions of dollars in development and marketing of the Opteron chip, which it currently sells in its Sun Fire X4000 server family, also known as its Galaxy line.

The two semiconductor companies have worked furiously on securing supplier deals with all of the major computer makers. In addition to IBM and Hewlett-Packard, AMD broke into previously Intel-only territory last year by announcing a partnership with Dell Computer.