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Hewlett-Packard Co. will release the first of its systems based on Advanced Micro Devices Inc.’s Opteron chip later this quarter as it works to expand its ProLiant server line.

The Palo Alto, Calif., company also has entered into a multi-year development and marketing agreement with AMD that will lead to future innovations based on AMD’s 64-bit technology, the company announced on Tuesday.

Reports of HP’s Opteron strategy began to trickle out last month, and company officials confirmed those plans at a press conference from Houston.

Scott Stallard, senior vice president and general manager for HP’s Enterprise Storage and Servers group, said the decision to embrace AMD’s Opteron technology was fueled by customer demand for 64-bit capabilities in its ProLiant systems.

Stallard also reiterated that the move to Opteron systems would not impact the company’s future plans for its Integrity line of high-end systems based on Intel Corp.’s 64-bit Itanium chip.

“Our commitment and plans for Itanium haven’t changed,” Stallard said. “They’ve actually been strengthened by this plan.”

Later in the first quarter, HP will introduce a two-way ProLiant server, the 1U (1.75-inch) DL145, followed in the second quarter by the four-way, 4U (7-inch) DL585 targeted at helping enterprises running 32-bit applications constrained by memory limitations, such as databases and Microsoft Corp.’s Exchange software.

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