Sun, Fujitsu to merge Sparc server product lines

Sun Microsystems and Fujitsu are to merge their Sparc-based server product lines by 2006, expanding a long-standing partnership between the two companies, company officials said Tuesday.

The new combined product line, code named APL, or Advanced Product Line, "will replace Sun's and Fujitsu's existing Sun Fire and PrimePower product lines," the companies said in a statement.

"We're going to be bringing a whole series of low- and mid-range and high-end products to the market," Sun Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Scott McNealy said in a conference call.

Sun and Fujitsu have collaborated for years on the design of the UltraSparc chip architecture used in both companies' servers. The news is an "expansion and acceleration" of a 20-year strategic relationship between the companies, McNealy said.

Last October, the two companies were reported to be in discussions to consolidate manufacturing operations, with talk that Fujitsu would take over production of Sun's high-end servers and microprocessors.

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