DB2 ready for Hammer

IBM Corp. has prepared a version of its DB2 database to run on Linux servers that use a 64-bit processor from Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

IBM announced support Tuesday for systems that run AMD's yet-to-be-released Opteron processor. The Armonk, New York, company plans to make its database available for servers running a version of Linux from SuSE Linux AG. IBM and AMD said they plan to first demonstrate the configuration at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo in San Francisco, which begins August 13, but have not yet announced a final shipping date.

AMD's Opteron processor is based on the company's x86 Hammer chip architecture, which can support applications designed for both 32-bit and 64-bit chip architectures. Due for release in the second half of 2003, the Opteron chip will be suitable for use in systems that process large amounts of data, according to AMD.

IBM becomes one of the first software vendors to show support for AMD's emerging chip architecture. SuSE, of Nuremberg, Germany, announced support for AMD's Hammer family of chips in March, and said at the time that it would be the first company to release a Linux operating system with support for the technology. AMD has also demonstrated a Web server application from Zeus Technology Ltd. that runs on servers with the 64-bit Opteron chip.

AMD, in Sunnyvale, California, is battling Intel Corp. in the 64-bit space, which is dominated by RISC chips from IBM and Sun Microsystems Inc. Intel is promoting its own next-generation chip called Itanium though the first release of the chip failed to impress. IBM last year made DB2 available for Intel's 64-bit chip architecture to run on both Windows and Linux operating systems, according to Intel.

A second version of Itanium, released early in July, has already garnered support from a variety of software vendors including Microsoft Corp., Oracle Corp. and BEA Systems Inc., though some of those vendors won't make their products available until the end of the year.

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