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October 15, 1998

COMPAQ READIES ALPHA SERVERS, DETAILS 21364 EV7 CHIP

By CBR Staff Writer

Compaq Computer Corp revealed more details of its EV7/1000 family at the Microprocessor Forum this week, and on Monday the company plans to launch the first new Digital Alpha-based servers since its acquisition of Digital Equipment Corp. The new multiprocessor servers will use the 583MHz 21164 Alpha, said to be 20% to 25% faster than its predecessor. The 21264 design team set out to improve the Alpha’s single processor performance, operating frequency and memory system design, add support for large scale symmetrical multiprocessing, and reduce the chip footprint. The chip is tipped to be the most credible competitor to Intel Corp’s Merced in terms of performance. It uses the 21264 core with a few minor improvements, and integrates level two cache and direct Rambus memory controller. It also includes an integrated network interface, with four ports for direct processor to processor interconnects, designed to help reduce the memory latency of large scale multiprocessors. Up to 4Tb of physical memory will be theoretically possible, with 1Tb implementations thought to be feasible by the time the chip comes out . The 21264 will use 0.18 micron CMOS process technology and have a 3.5cm square die size. It will have clock speeds of over 1000GHz and 100m transistors. Estimated performance will be 70 SPECint95 and 120 SPECfp95. Compaq says it has the RTL register transfer logic model running, with tapeout due in the fourth quarter of 1999, and systems likely to appear a year after that. The new Compaq servers due out on Monday are the AlphaServer DS (departments), ES (enterprise) and GS (global) systems. They are expected to include systems with up to 200 processors at the top-end, global level. The 21164 chips will appear first in .35 micron technology, but .28 micron upgrades are due out shortly, the company said.

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