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AMD-Alpha collaboration firmed up

Slot B, Tsunami chipset, et al

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Samsung subsidiary Alpha Processors Inc (API) will next week demonstrate a one gigahertz system which will arrive in volume this time next year. The system will not be cooled by Kryotech and runs at room temperature, we can confirm. Our source saw the system demoed at Kiheung, in Korea, this week, and the firm will transport the system over the weekend. API is positioning the system against a 400MHz Xeon. In graphics rendering, the application was four times faster -- 34 seconds versus two minutes 10 seconds, our source can confirm. The gigahertz chip is an EV67 using .18 micron transistors. And next week, at PC Expo, API will demonstrate Slot B technology. As we revealed earlier this year, AMD and API are in cahoots. Next week, API is expected to show a commodity motherboard which will run at 750MHz and is already being produced in volumes. The 750MHz system will be available for shipment next week, along with a commodity motherboard, which, we understand, will be named the UP2000. API is firmly positioning its Alpha technology with its motherboards against Intel technology, our source said. "The level of collaboration between AMD and API is high," she confirmed. Although API will drive the new systems into the Intel high space marchitecture arena, its roadmap, as already revealed here earlier this year, includes volumes for the desktop market. "These systems will go into commodity cases," she said. "They will use standard graphics cards and PC-100 SDRAM modules." The UP2000 motherboard will use an extended ATX form factor and while API is aiming its initial offering at the high end, more will follow later. Compaq has to remain committed to the Alpha platform, despite the bind it has got itself into with Intel over Merced, as reported here many times before. At this point, we have to consider Microsoft's part in this convoluted story. It has dedicated itself to producing a 64-bit OS for the Alpha platform, despite grief from Intel. Alpha will therefore run Winapps, but also supports a whole slate of other OS including every flavour of Unix/Linux, including Compaq's own version. We have the roadmap and will publish full details tomorrow. ®

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