Digital Equipment Corporation
Maynard, Massachusetts 01754-2571
DIGITAL TO BREAK 1,000MHz BARRIER WITH
HIGH-POWERED NEW GENERATION OF ALPHA ARCHITECTURE
New Alpha Generation to Deliver Two to Five Times
the Performance of Any Processor on Any Other Architecture
MAYNARD, Mass. -- February 2, 1998 -- Digital Equipment Corporation today
introduced the Alpha 21264 family, a new generation of the 64-bit Alpha
architecture that will break the GigaHertz (1,000MHz) speed barrier and continue
Alpha's industry performance leadership over all other architectures.
The third-generation Alpha 21264 family will deliver up to five times the
highest performance of any architecture available now and in the near future.
Performance will begin at an estimated 40 SPECint95 and 60 SPECfp95 and will
reach more than 100 SPECint95 and 150 SPECfp95, and operate at more than
1000 MHz by the year 2000.
"The new Alpha 21264 generation is an integral part of our dual platform
strategy," said Harry Copperman, senior vice president and group executive,
Digital Products Division. "Digital is fully committed to developing future
generations of the Alpha architecture and extending its performance leadership
for the most demanding applications."
"Consider the technology-hungry digital special effects market," Copperman
added. "Alpha technology powered the incredibly compute-intensive creation of
hundreds of special effects for Titanic, Men in Black, Tomorrow Never Dies, and
many other films and television advertisements."
"The newest Alpha generation should allow Digital to maintain its performance
lead for the foreseeable future," said Nathan Brookwood, principal
microprocessor analyst at Dataquest, Inc. "The 21264's combination of high-
-bandwidth buses and micro-architectural innovations will continue to set Alpha
apart in both server and desktop environments."
"Based on this announcement, I'd expect Alpha to continue to maintain its
performance lead up to and beyond Merced," said Andrew Allison, editor/publisher
of Inside the New Computer Industry.
The Alpha 21264 family, which will support three major operating systems -
DIGITAL UNIX, OpenVMS and Windows NT, will drive high-end systems ranging from
enterprise servers to high-speed workstations.
Dae Je Chin, CEO of System LSI at Samsung Electronics Ltd., said, "Dataquest
has estimated that the Windows NT market will surpass 50 million units by the
year 2000. The Alpha 21264 offers revolutionary Windows NT application
performance, and we at Samsung are moving aggressively to make that performance
available to Windows NT system manufacturers and users everywhere."
"Microsoft values its close and long-standing relationship with Digital," said
Rich Tong, vice president, Personal and Business Systems Group at Microsoft
Corporation. "This alliance is based on a mutual commitment to deliver to our
customers proven, enterprise-class solutions. We expect the new Alpha 21264
microprocessor family to raise the performance of Windows NT, SQL Server, and
other Microsoft products to yet another high-water mark."
Unequaled Application Performance
The Alpha 21264 family will drive unparalleled performance leadership in these
Server Performance Desktop
Data warehousing/mining Animation and rendering
Enterprise applications/ERP (e.g., DVD AUTHORING/PLAYBACK
PeopleSoft, Baan, Oracle, SAP/R3, GAME DEVELOPMENT
J. D. Edwards)
Internet applications Speech recognition, command
content creation, ISPs) and response
Media asset management (e.g., video Design automation (MCAD, MCAE,
Molecular mechanics, computational Publishing
Alpha-powered applications enable customers to process more work in less time
without breaking the budget. The new Alpha 21264 family promises even better
performance for the applications customers use to run their businesses, such as
Baan, Oracle, PeopleSoft and SAP. Enterprise mail applications, such as
Microsoft Exchange, and corporate intranet applications will support more users
on fewer servers. The speed of Alpha 21264 will enable even faster processing of
complex images, video and audio information.
Users will be able to process ad hoc queries for data warehouse applications far
faster, which enables better informed, more accurate business decision making.
The Alpha 21264 processor family will deliver online transaction processing
(OLTP) performance far beyond that of any other computing platform. Digital
expects Alpha 21264 microprocessors to achieve OLTP performance two to four
times current levels. For commercial users, this means reduced time from
customer order to product shipment and faster exchange of financial trading
Internet Services Providers (ISPs) and corporate intranet administrators can
depend on Alpha 21264 to provide dramatic gains in handling the exponential
growth of Web users. The power of Alpha 21264 will enable companies that depend
on Internet commerce to accommodate much higher "click rates" of online customer
inquiries and sales transactions. In addition, the new Alpha 21264 will enable
AltaVista and other internet search engines to search 30 million web pages even
faster - and AltaVista accomplishes this feat today in less than a second.
The breakthrough floating point performance of the Alpha 21264 family will
deliver far better performance to scientists and engineers in applications such
as molecular simulation, data visualization and aerodynamic modeling, geographic
information systems, and finite element analysis. Mechanical and electronic
designers and computer animators can leverage the power of Alpha 21264 to drive
demanding graphics and rendering applications at lightning speed.
Today, Alpha-based systems lead the field in performance and value, based on
industry-standard benchmarks such as SPEC, Linpack, SPECweb and others.
Customers can expect the new generation of Alpha technology to sustain Digital's
lead in these important indicators of relative performance.
"With Alpha 21264, Digital delivers another proof point of its innovative
capabilities," said Karl-Heinz Hess, Executive vice president, Systems
Technology, SAP AG. "The previous Alpha generation has proved its reliability
and its impact on the SAP market. R/3 has been successfully implemented
worldwide on Alpha based servers - on Windows NT as well as on UNIX. We expect
the 21264 Alpha to further strengthen Digital's position in the SAP market."
"Alpha computers have saved us nearly 25 percent on our computing costs. What
started as a proof of concept has become a mainstay of our business," said
Barbara Burri, director of Information Systems at Weather Services Corp., of
The company provides customized weather forecasting services to utility
companies to help them predict energy usage levels, and to dozens of
publications around the world. "The new 21264 is certain to raise the
application power and efficiency of the Alpha platform to an unprecedented
"The large-scale migration to network computing is fueling demand for powerful
servers," said Gary Bloom, senior vice president of Systems Products at Oracle
Corporation. "With the Digital Alpha 21264 processor, our joint customers will
be able to solve their most complex problems faster. Oracle's Alpha engineering
organization has worked closely with Digital's Alpha design team to optimize the
performance and scalability of Oracle's products, including Oracle8, Oracle
Applications and Oracle Video Server."
"Baan has made Digital a strategic partner, based on the scalability of the high
performance Alpha-based servers," said Doug Sallen, Baan vice president of
Strategic Alliances. "We expect Alpha 21264 to raise application performance
significantly for our customers, providing them a clear business advantage. It's
technology leaders such as Digital and Baan on which the world's major companies
depend for potent enterprise computing solutions."
"Digital Alpha systems are extremely fast for animation rendering, which is why
we have acquired more than 35 Alpha workstations and an Alpha render farm for
our computer animation department," said Paul Diener, director of Digital
Production at Will Vinton Studios (creators of animated M & M advertisements.)
"Alpha systems are our workhorses for animation, and we welcome the prospect of
adding yet more speed and performance with the Alpha 21264."
The first Alpha 21264 processor, which will ship in systems in the summer of
1998, is fabricated in a 0.35-micron, six-layer-metal CMOS process and features
a 2.0-volt core. Over the next few years, the Alpha 21264 will migrate to .25
micron and .18 micron process technology, providing performance enhancements and
cost reductions. Each chip will contain 15.2 million transistors.
The 21264 chip's superscalar, deeply pipelined design enables up to four
instructions per clock cycle to be issued to four integer execution units and
two floating point units. The 21264 instructions include specially developed
Motion Video Instructions (MVI), first introduced in the Alpha 21164PC
microprocessor, to enhance visual computing and multimedia performance through
improved motion estimation. MVI enables Alpha to perform complex multimedia
functions in software that require expensive additional hardware on other
architectures. For example, the 21264 will be able to compress DVD video using
the MPEG2 video standard and Dolby AC3 audio standard in software and in full
real-time. Add-in cards to support this capability on other architectures can
cost between $4000 and $20,000 and more. This is just one example of the kind of
new capabilities that the 21264 family will provide, enabling new levels of
performance and applications that have not yet been envisioned.
The Alpha 21264 processor features advanced microarchitecture and hardware
- Out-of-order instruction execution
- Large (64KB) on-chip data and instruction caches
- Improved branch prediction through intuitive execution
- Increased bandwidth for high-speed access to level 2 cache and system memory.
The first Alpha 21264 chips are sampling now and will enter volume production
in the spring of 1998.
Digital Equipment Corporation, recognized for product and service excellence,
is a leading supplier of high-performance, Web-based computing solutions, which
help enterprises compete in the global marketplace. Digital gives its customers
a winning Internet advantage through a comprehensive portfolio of Internet
solutions based on award-winning systems, advanced networking infrastructure,
innovative software, and industry applications - including those from its
business partners. The expertise and experience of Digital employees help
customers plan, design, implement, manage and support Internet solutions in
countries throughout the world.
For the latest company information, visit Digital on the World Wide Web at
http://www.digital.com and/or http://www.newsdesk.com
Note to Editors: Digital, Alpha, and the Digital logo are trademarks of Digital
Windows NT is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
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