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Supermicro abandons Intel-only stance, embraces Opteron

Dell all alone now

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Longtime Intel-only hardware shop Supermicro has stepped up its production of Opteron-based motherboards due to an influx of customer demand. With Supermicro now joining the AMD camp in full force, Dell is left as the last, great all-Intel shop.

"The samples are out there, and we are getting ready to ship in quantity," Supermicro spokesman Michael Kalodrich told The Register regarding the Opteron gear. "Our customers have been asking for this technology for a long time. I guess we just figured that basically we didn't want to lose some of our customers."

Supermicro has prepared workstation and server boards with one to two processors. It's not going to produce a four-way board at this time. Vendors such as Linux Networx and Colfax use Supermicro's products. Government labs also buy from Supermicro, which designs motherboards, chassises and power supplies at its headquarters in San Jose, California.

Supermicro's entry into the Opteron market shows how much headway AMD has made over the past two years. There is now a massive, vibrant market of Opteron-based components - something Intel has been forced to recognize.

"Certainly, there has been increased competition in (the server) part of the market place," said Abhi Talwalkar, a vice president at Intel, during a meeting today with analysts.

Evidence of the Opteron server market's strength can be seen with small companies like EBS. InfoWorld recently wrote that EBS offers an Opteron workstation with "a better price-performance ratio and more attention to detail than systems from name-brand players such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Sun." That's pretty good for a "second-tier" player.

Supermicro won't say exactly which customers have purchased its Opteron motherboards. This, however, is believed to be a Supermicro-based workstation from Colfax. AMD also has the Supermicro boards list in PDF here. ®

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The dual-core x86 server era begins thanks to AMD

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