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Dell looking 'more seriously than ever' at AMD

CEO Kevin Rollins hints that computer maker's usage of Advanced Micro Devices' processors is now more a question of when, not if.

PARIS--Dell Chief Executive Kevin Rollins on Monday gave the most direct indication yet that a deal with Advanced Micro Devices may be on the way, dropping a strong hint that an agreement with the chipmaker was a question of when, not if.

Speaking in Paris at the launch of Dell's first blade server, Rollins commented on reports last week that Dell has been studying the possibility of using AMD chips.

Rollins confirmed that the company has been investigating and testing AMD processors very seriously. "Recently, we have had a much more favorable disposition," Rollins said, "because some of (AMD's) products in high-performance computing are very good and in some cases (are) more advanced than those of Intel. We have looked more closely and more seriously than ever before."

Any agreement would probably put AMD's 64-bit Opteron chips into Dell servers. Intel's 64-bit server processor range starts with a Xeon, a substantially more expensive chip.

The prospect of Dell using AMD's processors is one of the industry's favorite rumors. Dell is famously the only major computer manufacturer that does not use AMD processors. HP, IBM and Sun Microsystems all use them in addition to Intel processors. AMD makes no secret of the fact that its executives regularly go knocking on Dell's door.

Last week's reports of a potential deal between the companies drove AMD stock to close on Friday at $21.02, up $2.43 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Matt Loney of ZDNet UK reported from Paris.