IBM will give up on making its own Unix/RISC box motherboards and will start plugging its Power7 processors in slightly modified AMD Opteron motherboards to save some money.
Neither IBM nor AMD would comment for this story. Multiple sources, however, did confirm the move in interviews with The Register. IBM and AMD have already signed an agreement around the arrangement.
Our sources have also revealed that Sun Microsystems is in discussions with AMD to pursue a similar plan for its UltraSPARC and UltraSPARC T1 processors.
"We are excited about AMD's common socket initiative because it opens up a whole new set of possibilities in systems design, but we aren't prepared to discuss any specific products using this at this time," said Sun's server chief John Fowler.
This week, AMD revealed a new partner program that will let third-parties such as Sun, IBM and smaller vendors build products that fit directly into Opteron sockets. Most analysts believed that IBM and Sun were just experimenting with how they would make use of this Opteron option. But The Register can confirm that engineering efforts have started within IBM to fit the far off Power7 chips right into the Opteron sockets.