Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Compaq Cutting... Alpha? 88

CuriousGeorge113 writes "As a result of Compaq's recent acquisition of Digital Equipment, they plan on closing the Salem, New Hampshire plant which employs 900 people. Most of them will be laid off. The plant currently makes alpha-based server computers. "
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Compaq Cutting... Alpha?

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    They are not laying off the people who design the
    Alpha processors (they are in MA and CA). These
    are people who work on the systems.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    When a PeeCee Maker ended up with the Aplha, you just knew they wouldn't know what to do with it. It's floundered ever since Compaq bought DEC. Now it's being shuffled off to some out of the way facilities in TX and CA? Next you'll hear that the technology was bought by some unknown hard drive manufacturer and it will be absorbed into obscurity like the Atari 2600. Or the Alpha will just cease and be abandoned all together. Intel wins. And we'll all have to wait with bated breath for God Almighty Intel to "invent" a 64-bit processor. Of course, it still has lots of bugs in it and won't be released for several years. 21x64 whuzza? Just another page of fantastic technology locked away in the dusty warehouse of the X-files, never to be seen nor hear from again. Sad. So very sad.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Can't speak for the Compaq market as a whole but at the company I work for the mix is about 50% - 60% Tru64 Unix 20% - 25% OpenVMS and the remainder is NT. NT has probably done far more to hurt the reputation of Digital and the alpha than it ever did to help. Many Sun and HP customers shied away from Digital Unix because they believed DEC was too comitted to NT and not serious about Unix in the long term.
  • Fear not, Compaq is investing heavily in the Alpha side of the business. They consider it the spearhead for their advance into real enterprise territory. Bob Palmer cut alot of funding to make DEC a more attractive purchase but Compaq has reversed that.
    What Compaq has done with the Alpha:

    Compaq XP1000 workstation
    Alphaserver VS10
    Alphaserver DS10
    Alphaserver DS20
    " ES40 model 1 and model 2
    " GS60
    " GS140
    Coming soon:
    Wildfire - highly scalable SMP to 256 processors

    New Tandem Himilayas based on the Alpha 21364.

    and shame on Taco for spreading anti-alpha FUD :-)

  • by Anonymous Coward
    A) None of Compaq's quad processor "enterprise" servers are Cyrix or AMD equipped.

    B) For the longest time Compaq had no real enterprise solution. They labelled there big x86 servers enterprise class but that is a joke. Those servers are used almost exclusively as file and print or departmental application servers. I have never had a single customer tell me they were betting their business on one of these machines. Sometimes they get used as front ends for big projects but there is inevitably a monster Unix system or IBM mainframe in the background doing all the real number crunching. The x86 box just puts the 'cute' on it for the end-user.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    In the article, it mentions that the alpha server production is being moved to two existing plants. One in CA and the other in TX.

    BTW, a server farm of alphas running linux was used to create some of the special effects for Titanic and Los Alamos has a 140 node Beowulf of alphas running linux.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Did you read the story? No where does it say that compaq is giving up on Alphaservers. It states that compaq is consolidating alphaserver assembly to two existing plants in other parts of the country.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 18, 1999 @12:00PM (#1887554)
    They are consolidating all alpha manufacturing in North America. See: 17

    This is likely a cost cutting move now that Pfeiffer is out.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 18, 1999 @01:00PM (#1887555)

    A few important points:

    • This is not the group which designs the Alpha microprocessor. We're in Shrwesbury, MA, and we are not being cut.
    • This is not the group which designs the Alpha systems. They are also based in MA and are also not being cut.
    • This is the group which assembles the Alpha systems, after they have been designed and after the processors have been designed and fabricated.
    • Compaq still has more people designing and building systems than they need, as there's overlap between the Digital groups and Compaq groups. This is just elimination of some of that redundancy.

    In other words, this is nothing to worry about. Alpha is not going anywhere.

    Kenneth C. Schalk ( [mailto])
    Alpha Development Group, CAD & Test Technologies

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 18, 1999 @01:04PM (#1887556)
    Compaq is cutting costs. Their stock dropped like a rock when they announced they weren't going to make the expected profits last quarter (from a high near 50 to about 25). These layoffs to be expected since Compaq bought both Digital and Tandem. Part of the "problem" (as seen by stockholders and analysts) was that Compaq didn't downsize Digital and Tandem as quickly as many folks had expected. They are shifting manufacturing to Houston, TX (Compaq) and Fremont, CA (Ex-Tandem) just to cut costs. They can't survive if all they do is fight with Dell and everyone else over the sliver thin margins of the low-end PC market.

    Compaq is sticking with the Alpha chip and don't expect them to drop it in the near future. It goes with their plans to establish themselves even more in the high-end server market. They expect to keep Tru64 (Dec Unix), Linux, and NT around so they can take advantage of whatever develops on the high-end side.

    I feel sorry for the folks who are losing their jobs out in Salem, but it was just a matter of time once Compaq bought Digital.
  • by bob ( 73 ) on Tuesday May 18, 1999 @04:04PM (#1887557) Homepage
    According to the latest (5/10/99) Microprocessor Report, Compaq has a fairly aggresive roadmap for Alpha. The item, "Alpha Roadmap Gets Clearer" appears in the "Most Significant Bits" column on page 4 and is attributed to Linley Gwennap. It cites "Long-time Alpha Watcher" Terry Shannon among others. Here's a very quick summary of what the story says:
    • 0.25u 21264 (EV67) @ 800MHz by year-end.
    • First 700MHz EV67 parts are expected to spec out at 30 SPECint95/base, 60 SPECfp95/base.
    • 0.18u 21264 (EV68) @ 1GHz in 1Q00, spec at 50 int/85 fp.
    • 0.18u 21364 (EV7) @ 1GHz by 4Q00-1Q01, expected spec 60 int/100 fp.
    • EV8 expected 2002.
    • EV9 and EV10 are in development.
    That doesn't sound like dropping Alpha to me.
  • Posted by Mike@ABC:

    Wow...that's big. If Compaq gives up on the Alphas to concentrate on their core PC business, then it's just ceded a big chunk of the server market to Sun, IBM and the other mega-server makers.

    So here's a question: is there any way Linux can take advantage of this possibility by touting Linux alternatives? I'm curious.

  • Posted by d106ene5:

    As for cheap x86 compatible chips, I don't see AMD or Cyrix (or Intel for that matter) playing in the enterprise,

    Since you're a Compaq distributor, you may want to look inside some of their systems from time to time. Many of their "enterprise" systems are powered by Intel chips (which by default are x86 compatibles).

    In fact, the overwhlming lion's share of compaq enterprise systems sold are x86 based.
  • Posted by d106ene5:

    By the way, Digital was making $14billion a year primarily on its alpha product line before it was bought.

    you're confusing revenue with profits.

    here's a hint - if DEC had more profits, it wouldn't have been bailed out by compaq.
  • by elyard ( 928 ) on Tuesday May 18, 1999 @02:36PM (#1887561) Homepage
    Not quite anymore, actually. SGI spun off MIPS into its own company and is now building servers based on Intel chips with SGI-style motherboards running Windows NT, if I understand correctly.

    MIPS was never spun off, because it was never *absorbed*. SGI purchased MIPS in the early 90s, and only recently divested all but 20% of its stake in the company.

    The CPU division responsible for the Rx-thousand series CPU is internal to SGI now.

    And, though SGI has announced NT server, it has yet to make any. Most of its sales still have RISC CPUs in them.
  • Remember, most of Digital's service revenues come from servicing Alpha-based accounts. Compaq paid over $9billion for Digital and has invested hundreds of millions in new R&D for the continuing digital product line. Don't put too much stock in PC rag pundits who claim they understand the actions of the enterprise players, if they really knew what they were talking about they'd be working as analysts and advisors on wallstreet and in corporate boardrooms not blathering in PC industry rags written primarily by failed hardware brokers and people who can't pass the MCSE exams.
  • The profit margin on Alpha based systems is far greater than anything Compaq ever saw with its intel based products. I don't think they understood what cash cows VMS and Digtal Unix on Alpha were until they saw the numbers after buying the company.

    Dgital's poor earnings performance was primarily due to mismanagment and lack of vision not poor alpha sales. Without the Alpha keeping it afloat I have no doubt that Digital would have gone under years ago.
  • Compaq has no plans to move the Alpha to the proliant case, the engineering costs and FCC certs are to high when they have well engineered DEC chassis to use. All of the new products are branded "Compaq Alphaserver". There will be some crossovers between the Digital storageworks product and the Compaq classic disk storage. The Compaq Alphaserver ES40 will be the first beneficiary of this with both types of disk shelves available.

  • Those SPEC numbers are very conservative (typical of DEC estimates, they're engineers not marketing). The 500 MHz 21264 in .35u is already in the high 50s for SPECfp.
  • Don't put too much stock in those benchmarks. They don't actually measure scalability or enterprise readiness.
    It is well known that among MCSEs that NT doesn't scale well past 3-4 CPUs. You need the far more expensive NTserver enterprise edition if you want to get up to eight on the Alpha and even then the performance scaling is nothing like linear. From the first tests coming out on the 8-way Penguin Computing systems, the 2.2.x kernel scales reasonably well on eight CPUs. The limiting factor on better scalability appears to be an I/O bottleneck after about six processors are utilized. Those tests were run using a database (Oracle?) to create the load, so perhaps with a less I/O intensive load such as rendering, the scalability would be even better.
  • by greg ( 1058 ) on Tuesday May 18, 1999 @02:17PM (#1887567)
    SGI spun off MIPS but they still use the MIPS processor in everything but their low end stuff. Sun doesn't own the SPARC plant but noone doubts their commitment to RISC. HP has always been dependent on Intel for CPU fab so its not suprising that they partnered with intel for their next generation CPU. They never had any intention of going with x86 CISC type CPUs. Most of the system Vendors have gotten out of the silicon business because the costs of remaining competitive are to high. Only companies that specialize in microprocessor fab can affor to invest $1billion everytime they want to upgrade their plant. Outsourcing your silicon fab makes economic sense, dumping your enterprise architecture for commodity consumer CPUs makes no sense at all.

    If Merced were here now and faster than the Alpha, then maybe Compaq could justify making the switch, but current generation alphas are faster than Merced will be when it arrives.

    As for HP's Merced moves that is a huge blunder.
    They were telling their customers that in two years when Merced arrives it would be "just as fast" as the PA-RISC systems they use now. Yeah, throw out your infrastructure and buy a whole new architecture with no significant performance gains and fewr applications, that just didn't fly with the customers and HP eventually caught on.

  • by greg ( 1058 ) on Tuesday May 18, 1999 @01:29PM (#1887568)
    I work for a Compaq enterprise distributor. Compaq has increased support for and investment in Digital's Alpha product line across the board. The only products that were scuttled were low end x86 products that competed with more successful Compaq PCs. Where the Digital models were more innovative or popular they were rebranded as Compaq products.

    Compaq cannot compete in the enterprise against Sun SPARCs, HP PA-RISC, IBM AS400s and RS6000s without Alpha based systems. This is why they have released eight new Alpha system models since they bought Digital and have invested heavily in the new Wildfire architecture.

    By the way, Digital was making $14billion a year primarily on its alpha product line before it was bought.

    As for cheap x86 compatible chips, I don't see AMD or Cyrix (or Intel for that matter) playing in the enterprise, Sun, IBM, HP and SGI all use Advanced RISC processors.

    Just because you use a crummy little x86 CPU doesn't mean everyone should. That would be like Peterbilt getting out of the heavy truck business because more people buy minivans.

  • Actually I believe most Alpha's run either DEC/Tru64 Unix or linux.

    Certainly the vast majority of Alpha machines that DEC/CPQ sell are sold with DEC/Tru64 licences. The figure I heard (from a very reliable source) was 85%. And that's just refering to workstations. I imagine the percentage for servers is even more heavily biased to Unix.
  • all y'all alarmists should take an interest in the world around you. Compaq seems to have done more with Alpha than Digital ever did.

    They're even porting their high performance Fortran compilers & math libraries to AlphaLinux.

  • IIRC the 466MHz alphaserver is 21264-based but with reduced cache.. The microway 21264 dual processor server runs $15k, but each 500MHz cpu has 2MB cache.
  • According to the latest info presented to us
    at a Tru64 Unix QA dept meeting, that is very
    much what we are going to do. As of recently,
    we consider Linux to _be_ the entry-level Tru-
    64 Unix, it is a high priority to support it
    with hardware and software, some even open
    source, with an eye toward migrating customers
    needing more than Linux being able to move up
    to Tru 64. Whether and how we follow through
    on that policy remains to be seen, but it's not
    for nothing that Compaq employs Jon "maddog" Hall,
    president of Linux International.
  • Well, I think Joe Corporate might go with Alpha ( But the biggest use for Alpha is in sci/3d. I mean, floating point performance! I'd like to see BeOS running on Alpha...that'd be just too sweet! ;-)
  • The Press release and news out of Compaq does not support your pessimism. They are very likely putting their ducks in row for a major Alpha push. Did you se they just announced a $3.500 Alpha server 466mhz that's supposed to compete with Intel based offerings where price is crucial. Lycos for one is looking at using those as a server farm.
  • Did you se they just announced a $3.500 Alpha server 466mhz

    What about the workstations? I recall seeing 533-MHz Alpha workstations, for ~$3k, at Enorex, before the newest Alpha, and back when Enorex's web-site was still useful.

    As for DEC/Compaq's web-site, I'm seeing primarily ix86-based workstations, and a couple of high-priced, 21264-based workstations. I'd love to go Alpha, if I can still find someone selling cheap 21164-based systems (hell, they'll probably still beat the Pentiums).
  • Sun, IBM, HP and SGI all use Advanced RISC processors.

    Not quite anymore, actually. SGI spun off MIPS into its own company and is now building servers based on Intel chips with SGI-style motherboards running Windows NT, if I understand correctly.

    HP partnered with Intel to develop the Merced and announced intentions to abandon its PA-RISC line. Fortunately they've been having second thoughts, and have deferred killing PA-RISC for the time being.

    Hopefully this is an abberation and not a trend. However, only time will tell.

  • Really? Then corporate IT has more sense in its head than I thought. Thanks for the info. Well, ever since IBM threw its hat into the ring, a commitment to Linux has been a respectable move.

    The only real threat to Linux's credibility are the recent benchmarks showing Linux doesn't scale up to the really monstrous machines as well as proprietary Unices or even (dag nabbit!) NT. Frankly, I believe that; we haven't had good access to the big machines. So, besides Sun and SGI, DEC makes the most monstrous machines available. Wouldn't be nice if they got Linux to the point where it beat, say, AIX at least?

  • by ajdavis ( 11891 ) on Tuesday May 18, 1999 @12:07PM (#1887579) Homepage
    Well, the usual homilies apply here: The future of heterogenous computing is with Open-Source Unices.

    NT Alpha may be keeping the chip on life suport right now, but, even though NT is stalled in the server market, Xeons (running various OSen) are continuing to infiltrate at alarming rates. I have no serious feelings about one architecture vs. another, only that the more the better, and that the only way to protect open standards is with heterogenous networks. One way to do this is to revive Alpha, and it won't happen unless Alpha throws in its lot with Open Source. The proprietary Unices are nice, but nothing they can do will make them stand out in a twenty-year-old, saturated market.

    If Alpha runs Linux and *BSD really nicely, on the other hand.... They need to do what Intel's doing, giving help to the open OSen, but in a much bigger way. I hope Compaq has the commitment to do this in their current, risk-averse environment.

  • Are they planning to move the Alpha servers to the Proliant cases and brand name?

    It would seem like a smart move to associate Alpha with the high end of the successful x86 products.
  • But why would Joe Corporate MIS guy buy alpha? Yeah, great chips, great technology, obviously superior to anything else on the market, but real expensive.
    We have a couple of DEC Alpha servers running where I work. As annoying as the hardware can be to replace (I've had Digital service guys actually tell me that no one should bother with their old stock tape backups), the systems were pretty much rock solid. Our most heavily trafficked one (which is doing secondary DNS for a couple dozen domains, bunches of SMTP and POP, and a respectable amount of web traffic) will hit an uptime of one year this Friday. Unless, of course, it crashes, in which case you'll read about my suicide on Saturday.
  • But why would Joe Corporate MIS guy buy alpha? Yeah, great chips, great technology, obviously superior to anything else on the market, but real expensive. Alpha cannot compete with Intels price, and one of the great reasons why the MIS guy can sell Linux in the real world is cost. Why buy Alpha when I can run four Intel boxes for the same performance at 1/2 the price?

    Unless you're betting on Linux overtaking the world, (which I hope it will, but it won't happen soon enough to save Alpha) Intel will always be cheaper, and Joe would always prefer a cluster of cheap boxes over a couple expensive ones (at least - a true cluster, which I'm hoping will be viable soon ) At least, this Joe would (after seeing too many machines die and doing too many hardware upgrades)

    That said, it's really sad to see DEC go...
  • BUT

    If Compaq were to throw Alpha into Linux with force - why would you buy Alpha as opposed to an Intel-based Beowolf (or something) cluster? Of course, I'm assuming that, by the time compaq could push the Alpha & Linux combination hard enough to gain momentum, real clustering of Intel & Linux will be commonplace - perhaps this is not valid, but I hope so.

    Yeah, Alpha is great stuff - no arguments there, but, what makes it an appealing alternative to Linux & Intel? It's certainly pricier, proprietary (relative to Intel? - that may not be valid for much longer), and I'm contending that the performance will be attainable more cheaply by other means before Compaq could shift gears (as the parent message proclaimed they should do)

    Maybe I should get my crystal ball cleaned.
  • MIPS will survive as an embedded processor.

    SGI is the last of the big MIPS users. Look for them to switch to McKinley (Merced is just for show...).

    Too bad HP's getting rid of the PA-RISC. Oh-well...

    What I'd like to see are some copper based StrongARMs from a .13micron fab. Now those would be some sweet watch-sized supercomputers...
  • I really doubt that NT is what is keeping the Alpha alive. Compaq, & Digital before it, have intel boxes that play at the level where NT sits. If anything, the Alpha has been around this long because they still need it to compete with Sun, HP and IBM in the big computer business.
  • Must be why they build 16-way alphas with huge I/O bandwidth. The floating point may be wasted, but it is the only chip Digital had that could play in the high end.
  • The 4-way Intel machines you are talking about absolutely pale in compairison to the 10+ processor Alpha machines the previous poster is referring to.

    Or perhaps you were thinking of the NonStop servers Compaq sells. These were the result of its acquisition of Tandem and use MIPS chips.
  • Do you know the difference between a server and a workstation? Didn't think so.
  • The Alpha fabs that Intel acquired and are bound to produce alphas on aren't that attractive. They are little more than a buffer for DEC/Compaq at this point. Samsung has taken the lead in manufacturing Alphas.
  • It really doesn't take much to beat the pants off of a pentium, especially if you are doing anything even remotly floating point intensive. There are a whole lot of companies that make great alpha workstations, including but not limited to (i love sounding like a lawyer :)
    you might want to give all of them a try, or just go to, there is a list of vendors on there too. :)

    go alpha. be proud.
  • But there is 64-bit UltraSPARC! In fact, Donovan Systems, a Singapore-based company, is already shipping their Penguin64 based on UltraPenguin O/S. And it scales very well from 300MHz to 440MHz UltraSPARC-IIi CPUs and support SMP up to 12 CPUs today.
  • Alpha isn't dead. Samsung Electronics in Korea is running it full bore. In fact I just finished doing a show here with Compaq Korea that Highlights Applications for the Alpha family of servers. (I want one----I want one the heck with intels Pentium 2.5 er III) Check out these URL's for more info. or lang=eng&page=1&where=1&query=alpha+serv er&slog=mickey&x=24&y=9 (A search result page.) Alpha isn't dead by any means. In fact Compaq is starting to work harder and harder to make Alpha a part of the Linux and FreeBSD communittee's from what I see.
  • 900 at this plant, 12,000 since acquiring Digital
  • Let me get this straight, your opinion is that the Alpha first began to flounder after Compaq acquired Digital?
  • I'm not Alpha expert, but I got to study the Alpha design while taking an assembly language course at UNH.

    The Alpha is a really nice design. It has 32 integer registers and 32 separate floating-point registers (all 64 bits). 64 registers total. Function arguments are usually passed entirely in registers, greatly reducing function call overhead and stack usage.

    It has a well-designed, compact instruction set - this is a very RISC machine. Its memory management is very elegant -- I am told it is a breath of fresh air compared to other architectures. The native CPU bus itself screams, even if the peripheral bus (PCI) is not as fast as, say, SGI's proprietary buses.

    All of this means that with a good optimizing compiler, you get *outstanding* real-world performance. Your typical benchmark is designed to run on CPU itty-bitty Intel CPUs, and doesn't take advantage of all the things the Alpha can do. This makes Alpha look less good then it is. In the real world, though, all of this sweet hardware design gives you a significant performance boost. Furthermore, the Alpha tops out much higher then Intel. An Intel box, even SMP, will start to max out when an equivalent Alpha is still running at idle. At UNH, there was a dual 200 MHz CPU Alpha box that routinely had 200+ students on it, doing everything from reading mail to running emacs to compiling projects, and it never starved for CPU - it was always a lack of memory that caused it to bog (it had 348 MB, I think).

    The Alpha also scales higher in an absolute sense -- you can get bigger Alpha boxes (16 CPUs, at least) then Intel boxes.

    And, of course, 64-bits of address space means you can use VLM (Very Large Memory) techniques to boost performance. Throw enough RAM at a problem, and it usually goes faster.

    What does this mean to us? Well, the Alpha is a great workhorse for multiuser systems running lots of jobs. Also databases, compilers, numeric and scientific programs, anything that chews on lots of data.

    It does not do quite so well at pushing data off a disk and onto a network wire. It is still pretty darn good, it just is not as amazing as the rest. This has as much to do with PCI and software as anything, I'm sure. If you can afford to throw enough RAM at it, Alpha pulls ahead again by virtue of having everything in cache buffers.

    On a related note, I have found Digital UNIX (or OSF/1 or Tru64 or whatever you want to call it) to be one of the better commercial UNIXes I have used.
  • I'm no expert on how compaq functions but the same people are running the alpha show as were when DEC existed. What this means to me, and I work for a very large corporation, is that Compaq doesn't care enough about the alpha to be worried about it. Alpha is still a big and expensive project but since it's not one of the crown jewels Compaq has loosened the reigns a little. That gives the alpha people the ability to be flexable and do stuff, like port the compilers to linux, that they never could have done when alpha was a flagship product. (if it ever was..)

    I think it could potentially mean some other things about funding, the alpha team may not feel they are getting funded enough to compete with PowerPC and Sparc so they could be embracing free products to defray some of the costs.

    Both of those things are good for us end-user type consumers because it means alpha will get competitive in ways PowerPC and Sparc cannot and it means extra good support for us alpha linux users but it also means the big picture of alpha could be grim. This would also explain why they have revealed their plans well into the future, a lot further than they usually do (microprocessor teams work for years and years before the product is released, the next couple chips are always well in to the pipeline by the time you can by a current chip but Dec has never really announced a chip a generation early like the 21364)

    Just my slant on it.

  • While it is VERY good to hear that this is just a consolidation of tasks and not the elimination of the entire Alpha line, Here's where you address your concerns or praise (as it may be) to Compaq:

    Visit Compaq's web site at [] and make use of the form on their " Contact Us []" page.

    Be sure to make the following point to them in the process: Virtually nowhere do they advertise or promote the Alpha line. No wonder it's flagging in the market! I see ads everywhere for Compaq Intel boxes but no mention of their own Alpha processor. If they would only add Alpha systems to their current ad campaigns there would be a 100% increase in ad space for Alpha.

    D. Keith Higgs
    CWRU. Kelvin Smith Library

  • This may be a somewhat discussion-diverting thought, but is the Alpha really a server-oriented processor at heart in the first place? I always thought that while it's got nice I/O bandwidth, that the Alpha really shines at floating point performance, which isn't a particularly critical benchmark for server operations. So even if Compaq was folding back on the Alpha (which they are not) I don't see that it would have anything to do with their server strategy. Isn't Alpha primarily for high end scientific workstations, 3-D stuff, etc?
  • What the hell made someone moderate down this article. The guy's absolutely right. I also really wish Cmdrtaco would read the freakin' article before he posts an alarmist headline like this. I respect his coding skillz and all, but I've begun to question his reading comprehension, or if he's not reading the linked articles, his attention span. Open-source news only works when people review the submissions.
  • Compaq moves the production of the Alpha processors to the factories in Fremont California.

    Same place as where they produce the former Tandem NonStop Himalaya servers, because they're going to use Alpha processors in thoose instead of MIPS which is used today.

    So, what this really means is, that Compaq are going to make some kickass servers with the best technologi awailable. Imagine one of thoose running Linux...
  • I knew most of DEC hardware was being scuttled the day they were bought.

    Not really shocking - the Alpha never really has made much money for anyone.

    The fastest chip does not win. This should be obvious to anyone who follows the industry for any period of time. Cheap and cheerful - this is what people want in chips. Being x86 compatible doesn't hurt either (FX32 doesn't count).
  • Tyhe story only says 900
  • I interviewed for a job at Cabletron back in Feb. I was one of two top candidates. Now I'm glad I lost out.

    that was close.
  • Just some food for thought. Everyone who ports their 3D/2D animation software over to NT/Alpha, prefers it over Intel. Since these programs make heavy use of FP, they love the Alpha platform. Even within the limitations of the NT OS.

    The company that makes the cartoon/animation software I use (Animation Stand) can't say enough good things about the Alpha. I hope Compaq continues to improve and support the Alpha chip.
  • The reason that intel boxes will never be as good as Risc chips from SUN SGI etc.. is that Risc chips run eerything better in terms of software written in C. I should know I wrote a compiler for the MIPS processor. If you go and use Intel boxes, things will be fine. The reason that Intel is talking about a Risc 64 architecture is because this needs to happen for their chips to be worth a damn in the future. No one wants code written in assembly anymore, no one needs this code. Without assembly program support Cisc chips are worthless, they have longer execution cycles and fewer registers. this is a bad thing for programs written in high level languages. A 64 bit structure is also helpful if one wants to run software that addresses huge drives, like terabytes and exabytes of RAM. This is not verey iumportant now, but you better watch out before you say when this will be important!
  • DEC had a services arm that Compaq absolutely coveted to compete against IBM. DEC was the only company going head to head with IBM in the large systems implementation services field. 0617S0007
    Compaq has been foundering since though...Margins falling on PC's etc.
  • by Paradox !-) ( 51314 ) on Tuesday May 18, 1999 @12:03PM (#1887609) Homepage
    About a decade ago, Digital laid off about the same number, maybe more, at their Sanders plant in Nashua. It was one of the causes of the 1991-2 recession in New Hampshire and is said to have cost Bush a ton of momentum and helped Clinton get some name recognition. About 20% of my friends' dads were out of work as a result of that downsizing. With Cabletron on the skids as well, doesn't sound like a good time for tech in New Hampshire...
  • by imploded ( 51355 ) on Tuesday May 18, 1999 @01:50PM (#1887610)
    Guys - honestly. As far as I know, Salem was just a machine assembly plant - Comapq probably has 10 of them, and they want to start centralizing. The acutal Alpha chip is still made, by Intel, no less, at a large plant in the suburbs of boston. Check out [] sometime. Compaq is betting on the Alpha bigtime - they want to fill the enterprise with ProLiant's and AlphaServers. They are also betting on Tru64 UNIX (read: Was Digital UNIX) big time. Compaq is just trying to save a couple bucks while firing up for the big game.
  • I'd encourage you to head to instead. We are the company set up by Samsung and Samsung Semi to do sales and marketing and other stuff for Alpha. Our web page has more info than I can put in here. FWIW, API is not Compaq. We're an *independant* company dedicated to bringing Alpha to the volume market. If you get InfoWorld, you'll see our latest ad. If not, you can see it at JPG Alpha is not dead. Not by any stretch. mike
  • I've seen their roadmap. They have grand plans for the alpha for at least a few more years. (very cool grand plans, too!!! )

Vitamin C deficiency is apauling.