Digital Equipment is readying a fresh revision of its Alpha chip for the middle of next year, but could still miss the window for NT platforms. However, some third parties are already signed up to introduce systems based on the new chip, with Samsung tipped as one of the favourites.
The chip, dubbed the 21264, will supplant the current generation of Alpha processors and is aimed at preventing Intel from capturing the entire 64-bit market.
Although the speed of the 21264 will surpass Intel speeds, the new chip will not necessarily be successful, said Joe D?elia, a senior semiconductor analyst at Dataquest.
He said: ?They?ve got to bring the price down quite substantially to compete with Intel. Competing on an Alpha-based system with the Pentium Pro is hard because Intel is so much cheaper and the volumes of the Alpha are so much smaller.?
Dataquest statistics indicated that the Alpha was sold only with Digital servers, said D?elia. He said that, while the Alpha chip, from a technological point of view, was superior to other processors, the marketplace did not see it that way.
?DEC has positioned [the Alpha] as a workstation product but the view now is that the x.86 processor speed is getting close to the Alpha,? he said.
Digital was unable to comment on the 21264 at press time.
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