Re[2]: What is DEC Alpha?

Subject: Re[2]: What is DEC Alpha?
From: "Walker, Arlen P" <Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 11 Sep 1998 09:43:03 -0500

Their Alpha chip is one of the greatest (and fastest) microprocessors
ever made.

While "greatest" is a subjective judgement, to remain factual when using
"fastest," take the "one of" out of the statement. It is (and has been for
years) the fastest microprocessor on the face of the planet.

Unfortunately, DEC never really marketed the chip, it never
really went anywhere (too high end, too expensive), and it's future is
uncertain.

DEC's marketing staff went in for the "Field of Dreams" approach -- you
know, "If you build it, they will come." So as a result Alpha was one of
the best-kept secrets in the industry.

I have heard rumors of Intel buying the chip.

Here's what happened. DEC sued Intel over patent infringement. Intel
settled the suit by paying for the right to build Alphas, the right to use
Alpha technology in their chips, and buying at least one of the chip
foundries outright (perhaps all of them, I'm unclear on that).

Current rumor has Compaq (new owners of DEC) evaluating the idea of putting
Alphas into their server line. Even five years ago marrying DEC's technical
talent with Compaq's marketing would have been an excellent idea, giving
Compaq virtual domination of the high-end server world. In the intervening
years, however, other companies have closed the gap with Alpha so that the
decision isn't as significant anymore.


Have fun,
Arlen
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 224

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
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