Working in conjunction with Intel, SAS plans to make its latest software available to run on Linux and the new Intel Itanium 2 processors beginning this fall.

SAS 9 will be the first business intelligence platform to run on Linux and Itanium 2, according to SAS.

SAS and Intel announced their joint effort at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.

The companies are responding to increased demand from financial services firm that want to run Linux on the sophisticated, high-end 64-bit processors, they said in a joint statement. Intel and SAS cited figures from analyst firm IDC forecasting a $2 billion market for Itanium servers with Linux.

SAS and Intel have also agreed to create a jointly funded center that will focus on integration of Linux and Itanium processor-based systems and other new technologies. The center will be called the SAS and Intel Advanced Research Center.

Intel also announced Monday that it was making progress in developing so-called dual core technology — chip designs that produce more processing power. Intel is also placing new emphasis on wireless technology, such as the next generation of wireless known as WiMAX.

“The Itanium architecture is designed with reliability, scalability and performance features that organizations need to speed access to business critical information that will help give a leg-up on their competition,” said Carol Barrett, director of enterprise platform marketing at Intel. “The addition of a new SAS 64-bit platform for Linux on Itanium 2 processor-based servers will help increase the breadth and depth of business intelligence solutions for enterprise customers looking to better manage and locate information and resources.”

Keith Collins, chief technology officer at SAS, says the Linux servers provide “a viable operating system for many of our customers, giving them added choice in operating systems.”

He added that SAS and Intel would use the new center to research and create additional integrated applications.

SAS and Intel announced their joint effort at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco.