Feeds

FTC to appoint guardian for Alpha

Trustees to look after future of endangered chip

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

A year ago From The Register No. 75, May 1998 The Federal Trading Commission (FTC) is making an extraordinary condition on Digital's sale of its semiconductor operations to Intel - a trustee will have to be appointed to supervise the licensing of Alpha to other manufacturers, and if the FTC doesn't agree with decisions that are made, it will step in and look after the chip's future itself. This condition is included in the consent decree permitting the Intel-Digital deal to go ahead, and is an unprecedented piece of government intervention in the free market, in order to preserve it. The decree seems tacitly to conclude that, left to their own devices, Intel and Digital (or Compaq. The new parent company) would take decisions about the future of Alpha that would not necessarily be in the interests of free competition in the 64-bit market. Digital's Alpha technology has become more obviously key to the 64-bit generation over the past few months, so it makes sense to the FTC to force it into free licensing, if not quite into the public domain. Negotiations over Digital Alpha licensing in the future will certainly cover Samsung, whose current position seems unclear. The company has been a second source of Alpha for some time, and in February struck a deal which allowed it to develop its own high volume version for 'specific markets,' and at the time it seemed clear that Samsung could make design changes, so long as it maintained compatibility. It has however been reported elsewhere that the FTC is under the impression that Samsung still only has manufacturing rights, which contradicts February's announcement. Samsung is however now rather important to the success of the Intel-Digital deal. The FTC wants Alpha to be licensed to two other manufacturers, and the company has the virtue of actually wanting it, whereas others like AMD and IBM are playing hard to get. So now all Samsung probably needs is some hard currency to run with it. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Israeli spies rebel over mass-snooping on innocent Palestinians
'Disciplinary treatment will be sharp and clear' vow spy-chiefs
Apple CEO Tim Cook: TV is TERRIBLE and stuck in the 1970s
The iKing thinks telly is far too fiddly and ugly – basically, iTunes
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.