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Compaq contemplating 128-bit Alpha

Cost could be prohibitive, given bean counting characteristics

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The cost of Alpha chip development after the year 2002 is likely to be over $1.5 billion, a source said today. The last iteration of Compaq's 64-bit Alpha platform is the EV8, as previously revealed here, but the cost of the 128-bit chip it is contemplating is prohibitively expensive. That is because it would involve Compaq funding a fab which could produce the .05 micron technology involved. A joint venture is possible, but Compaq would have to pull in a number of other players to succeed. Currently, the industry is concerned that Compaq might turn everything right around and become the chip monopoly in the year 2000. Compaq CEO Eckhard Pfeiffer has made no secrets about his aims and ambitions. However, he is likely to face fierce opposition to his plans from rival system vendors HP and IBM, never mind Dell. ®

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