Compaq is calling on its customers to invest in technology which it plans to bury in two years' time.
The company has just launched a 1Ghz version of the Alpha chip accompanied by enhancements to the Tru64 Unix OS, despite an earlier decision to halt Alpha development by 2002. But in the same breath it announced that it will expand Alpha's replacement - the ProLiant DL590/64 ? which is Compaq's first Itanium box.
The new 1Ghz EV68 Alpha chip is available for its GS series of AlphaServers in eight-, 16- and 32-way flavours on a platter of 0.18 micron copper. The chips also boast improved workload management and more processor support.
The Alpha processor was considered a ground breaker in its eight-year life span, but pricey development costs, lack of software support and unsuccessful marketing have stunted interest in the platform. There are currently only 800,000 of the doomed boxed left in circulation.
Compaq made the abrupt decision at the end of May to stop development of the Alpha architecture within two years and shift its 64-bit system development to Itanium - a move the company said would give its customers an industry standard architecture.
Meanwhile, IBM is attempting to poach Compaq's Alpha disenfranchised customers by offering a free migration assessment programme and other incentives.
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