IBM Corp. Tuesday joined Advanced Micro Devices Inc. in AMD's launch of its Opteron processor, saying that it will offer a 64-bit server using the new x86-based MPU.
The IBM design win is significant in that AMD has apparently landed a Tier 1 server OEM at the beginning of its Opteron product cycle. Last week AMD indicated the it a top unnamed server vendor would adopt the Opteron, which is considered key to winning support from other Tier 1 server OEMs.
Opteron marks AMD's foray into the 64-bit computing arena, and has been touted by the company as enabling users to build 64-bit servers while retaining the 32-bit x86-based code that is used by legacy systems. Other chipmakers, like Hewlett-Packard and IBM, have opted to ship their 64-bit MPUs using proprietary code that does not feature backward compatibility with x86 programs.
"The most powerful benefit of the AMD Opteron technology is the promise to protect an enormously valuable investment in existing 32-bit applications while providing the ability to smoothly extend into the 64-bit world," said Bill Zeitler, senior vice president and group executive of the IBM Systems Group.
IBM earlier announced it will develop a version of its DB2 database software to run on the Opteron platform.
Fujitsu Siemens Computers also feature a server using the Opteron MPU.