Sun starts using Intel chips, AMD not out yet

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Sun and Intel are announcing may announce [Ed: evidently I jumped the gun since it hasn’t happened yet; Update 2: it happened] a deal this morning to pimp each other’s gear. According to the AP:

Server and software maker Sun Microsystems Inc. has agreed to use chips from Intel Corp. in some of its servers and for Intel to endorse Sun’s Solaris operating system…

The move is seen as an attempt by by sides to boost market share (Intel lost 5% of its market to AMD last year, although it still owns about 75% of the chip market). AMD’s focus on energy-efficiency helped the company lure away clients like Sun while Intel was still overhauling its product line, but Intel’s Xeon line is winning back lost friends.

AMD and Sun entered into a partnership in 2003, and in recent years Sun has relied exclusively on AMD to supply server chips based on the popular x86 microarchitecture, or design, used in many personal computers and servers.

Intel was also providing processors for Sun’s x86 server line at the time, but was pushed aside out of concerns about the chips’ power consumption.

Sun, which also makes its own line of Sparc branded processors, will still use AMD chips in some of its products, the person close to the deal said.