Samsung has formed a new subsidiary, Alpha Processor Inc (API), to sell chips based on Digital Equipment's Alpha architecture.
The Korean conglomerate has an architectural licence for the Alpha processor. When Intel bought Digital's Alpha manufacturing facilities earlier this year, US regulators insisted, as a condition of approving the deal, that there should be more than one source of Alphas.
Alpha Processor will target the chip at the Windows NT market, as well as selling any of Samsung's own developments of the architecture. Microsoft recently announced that it would develop further functionality for version 5.0 of its Windows NT operating system specifically to take account of Alpha's 64-bit capabilities.
"Alpha is the only commercially available processor capable of breaking the one gigahertz barrier. Our relationship with Compaq ensures expertise in volume channel marketing. Together we will drive the high volume enterprise market," said Daeje Chin, chief executive of API, in a statement.
Manufacturing will be done by the parent, Samsung Electronics Company, while design of the original Alpha processor remains with Compaq following its acquisition of Digital, completed last week. Intel will manufacture processors based on Compaq's design, as will AMD and possibly IBM.
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