Intel and Sun will today announce an alliance on the Merced chip, the two companies have confirmed.
Although a representative refused to be drawn on details of the deal, the Newswire understands Sun will commit to porting the Solaris operating system to the platform.
The move is expected, because Sun does considerable business through the VAR channel on low end x.86 boxes and could be an attempt to circumvent legal action from Sun in the wake of Digital?s victory earlier this year over Intel using Alpha technology.
But Joe D?Elia, senior analyst at Dataquest UK, said the deal was more to do with the licensing of operating systems: ?This was always on the cards and probably has little to do with the technology,? he said.
He said that there was no reason why Intel and Sun should cross license their chip technologies before the release of the microprocessor. Merced will depend on 64-bit operating systems like NT 6.0 to run.
But, said D?Elia, that could change after the Merced is finally released. He said that the nature of cross licensing agreements was such that litigation only occurred when products were finally available.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Intel is playing a balancing act and attempting to keep all of its partners and possible partners in the Merced project happy.
Its chairman, Dr Andy Grove, is on the record as saying that in the future Intel will maintain both 32-bit and 64-bit platforms, even at the high end. Technology based on Merced is unlikely to become a realistic project on the desktop until well into the 21st century, his senior VP of desktops, Pat Gelsinger, told journalists at Comdex/Fall.
Intel has said the announcement between it and Sun is now delayed, a representative said.
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