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  1. Technology
December 1, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

On a crisp clear day in New England last week, Digital Equipment Corp began detailing for public consumption its plans for world domination. DEC expects its forthcoming Alpha RISC to buy it the number one slot in Unix performance. But Alpha is also the eventual successor to the VAX processor, obviously making it of overriding importance to DEC’s future. That future starts sometime next year, probably in the summer, when the first three Alpha boxes appear, paving the way for successive generations of 64-bit machines that DEC contemplates will take 24 months to launch. DEC considers Alpha’s architecture will take it through the next 25 years, and will be scalable to all species of machine form the palmtop to supercomputer. The scale of the project must put the depth of DEC’s commitment to the MIPS Computer Systems Inc RISC architecture into some question, despite the Advanced Computing Environment and the new machines launched this week (above). Commenting, MIPS’ John Mashey said he expected the Alpha to be fast, but expensive for the first few years.

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