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64-bit Compaq Alpha tops 1040MHz

Intel's Itanic has a way to go

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Working samples of Compaq's 64-bit Alpha processor - often described as the 'brain of a computer' - are already being tested around the world, with a full launch date slated for early next year, it can be revealed.

The chip, which forms the basis of the Compaq server family formerly known as Wildfire, has been a 64-bit microprocessor for some years, but engineers have finally managed to clock it above 1GHz.

Intel is still attempting to make its 64-bit chip, now popularly known as the Itanic, clock successfully to 733MHz and 800MHz, while rumours still are circulating that it has enlisted the Oregon team developing the Foster and Willamette (aka Pentium 4) processors to initiate a back up plan.

Senior officials at Intel stoutly refute such plans are in place, although vendors, including NEC, SGI, Dell, IBM and others, are known to be unhappy at a further delay to their Itanium boxes, which have been ready for quite some time.

At the opening of this summer season's Intel Developer Forum (IDF), senior IA-64 executive Ron Curry admitted that many of the 6000 Itanium boxes out there are clocking at speeds well below 733MHz.

Compaq also has an Itanium box, as witnessed at the Spring IDF, but no trace of a Compaq Itanium could be found at the summer fest, moved from Palm Springs to San Jose. ®

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