Digital Equipment Corporation
Maynard, Massachusetts 01754-2571
DIGITAL MICROPROCESSOR POSTS WORLD RECORD
Alpha AXP Billion-Instruction-Per-Second Chip Leads Industry
MAYNARD, Mass. -- September 7, 1994 -- Digital Equipment Corporation today
reported a major breakthrough in semiconductor technology with the introduction
of the world's first commercially available microprocessor capable of issuing
more than one billion instructions per second (BIPS).
In announcing the accomplishment, Digital President and Chief Executive Officer
Robert B. Palmer said the Alpha AXP 21164 chip is also the computer industry's
most powerful and the first to break the 300MHz barrier.
The 9.3 million transistor Alpha microprocessor delivers performance at speeds
previously possible only in large multiprocessing systems, such as expensive
supercomputers. When compared to the fastest competitors, the Digital chip is
more than two times faster than Pentium, PowerPC, and MIPS microprocessors, the
"Digital continues to have the fastest single microprocessor in the world. The
new chip is 75 percent faster than the previous record holder, our Alpha AXP
21064A microprocessor," Palmer said.
"For customers, this announcement shows Digital is meeting and exceeding its
goal to offer the highest-performance microprocessors and systems in the
industry. And it is further proof that the Alpha AXP architecture provides the
blueprint for unbeatable performance gains."
The Alpha AXP 21164 microprocessor will power the most demanding customer
client/server applications involving multiple databases, groupware for
departments and workgroups, high-performance graphics and imaging, multimedia,
voice recognition, and scientific and financial analysis. Customers can choose
from nearly 6,000 applications running on Windows NT, DEC OSF/1 UNIX, and
OpenVMS AXP operating systems.
Digital said the Alpha chip's performance is further enhanced by the first two-
-level, on-chip cache memory. This unique feature also eliminates the need for
an external cache for the most widely used desktop applications.
In a comparison of transactions per second with competitive multiprocessor
systems, a prototype Alpha AXP 21164 single-processor system delivered nearly
twice the performance of the Compaq Proliant 4000 server with four Pentium-66
processors, and 1.5 times the performance of Sun Microsystems' eight-processor
SPARCserver 1000 system.
Digital is making available two versions of the microprocessor. The Alpha AXP
21164-300MHz has an estimated performance of 330 SPECint92, 500 SPECfp92, and
600 TPS (transactions per second), all industry records for a single-chip
microprocessor. The Alpha AXP 21164-266MHz chip has performance estimated at
290 SPECint92 and 440 SPECfp92.
The Alpha AXP 21164-300MHz and Alpha AXP 21164-266MHz microprocessors are
priced at $2,669 and $1,865, respectively, in quantities of 5,000. Samples will
be available next month. Fabrication is taking place at the firm's Hudson, MA,
Digital Equipment Corporation is the world's leader in open client/server
solutions from personal computing to integrated worldwide information systems.
Digital's scalable Alpha AXP 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, the Digital logo, DEC, Alpha AXP, OpenVMS and AXP are
trademarks of Digital Equipment Corporation.
Pentium is a registered trademark of Intel Corporation.
PowerPC is a registered trademark of International Business
Windows NT is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
Compaq and Proliant are registered trademarks of Compaq
Computer Systems, Inc.
Sun and SPARCserver are registered trademarks of Sun
MIPS is a trademark of MIPS Computer Systems, Inc.
UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other
countries, licensed exclusively through X/Open Company, Ltd.
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