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Compaq's Wildfire gets May 16 debut

Seed systems start to sprout

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The latest issue of newsletter Shannon knows Compaq is reporting that May 16th is now the official date for the launch of The Big Q's Wildfire, Alpha based systems. According to Terry Shannon, editor of the newsletter, AlphaServer GS80 up to GS320 WildFire systems are now all up and running smoothly. Shannon visited the Wildfire laboratories in Marlboro in January and then Compaq had over 60 systems up and running in house. Worldwide, over 100 systems were functional, he says. He reports that the Wildfire run rate was in double digit numbers during this month, and production will rise to three digits per month by the middle of the year. Full volume is expected to start in the second half of this year. Volume production systems will be built in Compaq Scotland and in New Hampshire, he says. The firm has said sales of Wildfire systems will reach $1 billion during this year, and Shannon adds that the firm will have "at least" 200 firm orders on release day. Compaq has already shipped a large number of "seed systems" to its customers. Audited TPC numbers for Wildfire are not available, but Shannon reckons that a system will "wrest single-system tpmC bragging rights from IBM’s S80 system. A 24-CPU S80 delivers about ~138K tpmC." Systems running 32 Alpha processors will deliver over seven times the performance of a four CPU system, he adds. There will be an EV7 version of Wildfire in the middle of next year. ®

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