DEC thinks there’s an opportunity for its Alpha RISC microprocessor in the notebook and big-screen desktop replacement market and next year will produce a low-power implementation of the 21164 to serve in mobile devices. It doesn’t seem very sure whether NetPC-class devices would be suitable vehicles for the 0.25 micron part, as it’s still mainly concerned with its ‘visual computing’ trip rather than straight productivity devices. What DEC is really waiting on however is the arrival of the mid-1998 release of Windows NT 5.0 and the features it brings for supporting mobile computing such as power management and Windows 95 functionality, including ActiveX and plug-and-play features. Indeed DEC says its entire Alpha strategy is now tied to Microsoft’s NT roadmap. DEC says its first EV6 generation part, the high-end Alpha 21264 is still on course for the end of the year with system implementations six months thereafter. It expects 21164PC-based systems to appear in $2,500-to-$3,000 systems from its partners by the end of the summer.
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