DEC Alpha

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DEC Alpha

A RISC microprocessor from DEC. In November 1995, the Alpha was purportedly the fastest non-research chip used in commonly available workstations. It is superpipelined and superscalar. In February 1996 it was clocked at 200 MHz and in March 1998 at 666 MHz.
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(1) See WolframAlpha.

(2) A family of RISC-based, 64-bit CPUs and computer systems from HP. Originally developed by Digital, which was acquired by Compaq and then HP, the first model introduced in early 1992 was the 150 MHz 21064-AA, considered equivalent to a Cray-1 on a single chip. Subsequent Alpha models continued to blaze the trails for high-speed microprocessors. Alpha-based servers (AlphaServers) run under Tru64 Unix and OpenVMS. In the mid-1990s, Windows NT was ported to the Alpha platform, but support was later dropped.

Alpha Went to Intel
In 2001, Compaq sold all Alpha intellectual property to Intel and announced it would switch its high-end servers to Intel's Itanium processors by 2004. HP acquired Compaq in 2002 and introduced enhanced AlphaServers. Orders were accepted for the new machines until April 2007, and support and service were promised until 2012.

Alpha Models
Shown here are a number of Alpha servers from low to high end. The Alpha chips are always pushing the envelope in performance and architecture. (Image courtesy of Compaq Computer Corporation.)
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