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Exclusive HP has developed a strong appetite for AMD's Opteron processor and plans to feed the beast early next year with a host of new systems, The Register can reveal.

Impressed with the success of its four-processor ProLiant DL585 system, HP will ship an in-house designed two-processor system dubbed the ProLiant DL385 in January, according to sources here at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF). HP already sells the two-processor ProLiant DL145 system with Opteron chips, but that product is believed to have been made by design house Newisys.

On the blade front, HP will come out with the BL25p, BL35p and BL45p systems - all with Opteron processors, our sources said. The BL25p will debut late this year or early next year with 2.4GHz Opterons, and the BL35p will arrive at the same time but at half the size of the BL25p. The bulkier BL45p will ship later in 2005 and will allows customers to pack twice as many systems in a chassis as the current BL40p.

HP earlier this year announced its Opteron blade plans.

The blade systems will also be available with a Cisco switch. IBM trumped HP in a sense earlier this year by offering a Cisco switch with its blade gear. Up to this point, HP has been relying on a Northern Telecom switch, but who wants that?

HP, however, will one-up IBM with its Cisco switch. The HP co-branded product will be 100 percent Cisco, as opposed to the product made for IBM that contains some Broadcom chips.

Our sources indicate that Intel has started to get nervous about the quantity of deals HP has won with its DL585 Opteron box. HP is the leading seller of Xeon-based boxes, but there is a bit more buzz around Opteron boxes these days.

HP and Sun have established themselves as the clear Opteron server leaders, and it's hard to imagine IBM and Dell waiting much longer to deliver two- and four-processor general purpose boxes of their own. Until they do, it seems HP will happily scoop up as many deals as it can. ®

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