Compaq dumps 64-bit Alpha line in favor of the Itanium chip

Compaq dumps 64-bit Alpha line in favor of the Itanium chip

Compaq Computer Corp. will phase out the 64-bit Alpha processor line that it inherited in 1998 from Digital Equipment Corp.

Over the next few years, Compaq will merge its Alpha technology into Intel 64-bit Itanium processors, Compaq and Intel officials said recently.

But the Alpha chip won't vanish immediately, said Ty Rabe, Compaq's director of high-performance and technical computing solutions.

The company will license Alpha technology to Intel and will base all its servers on the Intel architecture by 2004. By 2005, a high-end Itanium processor that borrows from Alpha will perform better than either processor separately, said Rabe, a former Digital executive.

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