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Big Q claims Alpha thrashes Itanium-Merced

And what is Compaq's Merced strategy, we ask again

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Over the festive season, Compaq has seen fit to post a document on its Web site which compares and contrasts the performance of its flagship 64-bit processor with Intel's up-and-coming Merced Itanium. And, according to the Adobe PDF document entitled Alpha and IA64, which can be found here, any dreams of world domination Intel may have with such 64-bit architecture are just that, dreams. The document cites facts, figures and benchmarketing to demonstrate that pound for pound, the Alpha outperforms Intel architecture. One soundbyte says: "Alpha will be superior to IA64 in commercial applications". Some of the material the Big Q has posted has been available before, but the important point with this document is that it is really a positioning statement. And it clearly shows Q is going to attempt, at least, to give Intel a run for its money. "IA64: a smart compiler and a dumb machine" gives a flavour of the piece. Industry pundit Terry Shannon commented on the paper: "This treatise provides ample evidence that Itanium is in no way, shape, or form an Alpha-killer." However, we at The Register believe that this particular war will be fought on the marchitecture front and not on pure Architecture. Good Intel lackeys (er, sorry partners) like HP maintain that IA64 will inevitably win in the enterprise sector, and are prepared to sacrifice PA Risc on that altar in the first five years of the zeros. (The 80s, the 90s, the 00s?). Perhaps the additional money Q, Samsung and API are pouring into the Alpha processor in 2000 will help do the trick and overturn conventional wisdom. ®

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