Dell chief executive Kevin Rollins on Monday gave the most direct indication yet that a deal with AMD may be on the way, dropping a strong hint that the news was a question of when, not if.
Speaking in Paris at the launch of Dell's first blade server, Rollins took time out to comment on press reports last week that saw AMD's stock rise on news 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, and said, "We will let you know when we have a comment to make."
"Recently we have had a much more favourable disposition," said Rollins, "because some of [AMD's]products in high performance computing are very good and in some cases more advanced than those of Intel. We have looked more closely and more seriously than ever before."
Any agreement would be likely to see AMD's 64-bit Opteron chips appear in Dell servers. Intel's 64-bit server processor range starts with a Xeon, Intel EM64T, a substantially more expensive platform.
The prospect of Dell using AMD's processors is one of the industry's favourite rumours. Dell is famously the only major computer manufacturer that does not use AMD processors: HP, IBM and Sun 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 saw AMD stock close on Friday at $21.02, up $2.43 on the New York Stock Exchange.