Digital Equipment Corporation
Maynard, Massachusetts 01754-2571
NEWEST ALPHA MICROPROCESSOR HITS 500MHz,
ALPHA TOPS FOR WINDOWS NT VISUAL COMPUTING
Alpha Family Leads in Performance, Gets New, Lower Pricing
MAYNARD, Mass., July 8, 1996 -- Digital Equipment Corporation strengthened its
four-year claim to the world's fastest and highest-performance microprocessors
with today's announcement of 500MHz and 433MHz versions of its Alpha 21164 RISC
microprocessor. With peak execution rates of up to 2 BIPS, these top-performing
chips push the performance envelope for visual computing applications such as
video conferencing, 3-D modeling, video editing, multimedia authoring, image
rendering, and animation.
Performance of the new Alpha 21164-500MHz chip is estimated at 15.4 SPECint95
and 21.1 SPECfp95, making it the industry's highest-performance RISC or CISC
microprocessor for both integer and floating point operations. The Alpha
21164-433MHz chip is estimated to deliver 13.3 SPECint95 and 18.4 SPECfp95.
Superior Benchmark Results
The Alpha 21164 product family's superior performance enables it to handle the
tremendous workload in 3-D graphics and motion video faster than competing
platforms, including those with special multimedia instructions, with CPU power
to spare for other tasks. In tests using a suite of 3-D image rendering
benchmarks from Softimage, a 366MHz Alpha XL PC performed, on average, 31
percent faster than a Silicon Graphics Indigo 2 Extreme workstation, and 72
percent faster than an Intergraph TDZ 300/GLZ system based on the 150MHz Pentium
"In those same tests, we expect a 500MHz Alpha system to run 75 percent faster
than the SGI workstation and well over twice as fast as the Intergraph TDZ 300
system," said William N. Johnson, vice president of marketing at Digital
Semiconductor, a Digital Equipment Corporation business.
Industry Accolades for Alpha
"Digital's 500MHz Alpha 21164 should keep Alpha in the performance lead, even as
Intel rolls out its 0.28-micron process for Pentium Pro in 1997," said
MicroDesign Resources analyst Linley Gwennap. "Alpha performance has increased
by an impressive 70 percent since the Pentium Pro was announced last fall."
According to analyst Tim Sloane of the Aberdeen Group, "There is an increasing
trend for high-end graphics, imaging, and video software vendors to port their
applications to Windows NT and to offer desktop implementations via the
Internet. This trend presents an excellent opportunity for Digital to position
Alpha as the price/performance benchmark in a new market segment for the
professional Windows desktop."
Glenn Campbell, Area 51 visual effects supervisor for the futuristic television
feature, "Space -- Above and Beyond," said, "Alpha systems give us the best bang
for the buck. I can buy five Alphas and put five animators to work for the price
of one Silicon Graphics Indigo Extreme machine with software and licensing."
New Pricing for Alpha Chips
Alpha 21164 microprocessors are now available in the following range of speeds
and price points:
Processor Price (1,000 units)
Alpha 21164-300MHz $695
Alpha 21164-366MHz $950
Alpha 21164-433MHz $1,492
The above microprocessors are all available for shipment. The 500MHz chip is
sampling now and will be available in September. In addition, Alpha 21164 board
products, featuring standard PC components and form factors, are also available
Digital Semiconductor, a Digital Equipment Corporation business headquartered in
Hudson, Massachusetts, designs, manufactures and markets industry-leading
semiconductor products including Alpha microprocessors and PCI chips for
networking, bridging, and multimedia, plus low-power StrongARM microprocessors
under license from Advanced RISC Machines Ltd. Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
and Samsung Electronics Company Ltd. are alternate sources for Alpha
microprocessors. World Wide Web site: http://www.digital.com/info/semiconductor
Digital Equipment Corporation is the world's leader in open client/server
solutions from personal computing to integrated worldwide information systems.
Digital's Intel and Alpha platforms, storage, networking, software and services,
together with industry-focused solutions from business partners, help
organizations compete and win in today's global marketplace.
Note to Editors: Digital, Digital Semiconductor, and the Digital logo are
trademarks of Digital Equipment Corporation.
Windows and Softimage are registered trademarks and Windows
NT is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
Silicon Graphics and SGI are registered trademarks and Indigo
Extreme is a trademark of Silicon Graphics, Inc.
Intergraph is a registered trademark and TDZ is a trademark of
Lightwave is a registered trademark of NewTek, Inc.
SPEC is a registered trademark of System Performance
StrongARM is a trademark of Advanced RISC Machines Ltd.
Intel is a registered trademark and Pentium Pro is a trademark
of Intel Corporation.