Compaq to sell Alpha?

Graylien

Member
Jul 21, 2000
59
0
0
Has anybody here heard anything from a reliable source that supports the rumour that Compaq may sell its Alpha assets to Intel (or possibly AMD), possibly as early as this Monday?
 

Drakino

Member
Dec 31, 2000
158
0
0
Short answer:
Ummm. No.

Long answer:
Why would Compaq sell one of it's most profitible divisions? There is still a huge demand for Alpha servers. (ILM just bought quite a few) Besides, the question would be, would Compaq simply sell the future rights, or all current customers? (Since when you buy an Alpha server, you get a very nice hardware support contract).

It's not going to happen.
 

Graylien

Member
Jul 21, 2000
59
0
0
I'm not saying that I believe the rumours. I was just shocked to hear this story from a half dozen different sources in one day (including an employee in the Alpha division (ex-Digital) who says that he has heard the rumours and that he wouldn't be at all surprised if they were true).

Personally, I'm not interested in other people's take on the situation. I would, however, like to know if I've missed any important news articles (again, from reliable sources).
 

BurntKooshie

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,204
0
0
The inquirer is reporting it, and, at least according to Paul DeMone, Mike Magee has pretty good sources wrt Compaq :( (frown 'cause it'd suck for the design team to be bought, and current technologies dumped).
 

Drakino

Member
Dec 31, 2000
158
0
0
Here is the best part. This story from the same site talks about upgrades Compaq plans to the GS series over the next couple of years. Sounds odd that they would release a story saying the division is being sold, while also saying Compaq has upgrades planned for years ahead.

I'll believe it when I see it. I just want to know where these supposed rumors are comming from.



<< (including an employee in the Alpha division (ex-Digital) who says that he has heard the rumours and that he wouldn't be at all surprised if they were true) >>



Well considering Digital employees at the peon level believed Compaq was never going to buy Digital, I'm sure they are open to about anything now. Trust me, I sit in a position where I am 90% sure I would know about it if it's going to happen soon. It's not going to happen. It's too messy of a transfer. Rights to build and use the Alpha I'll believe. But a compelte sale of the division is highly unlikely.
 

pandaflux

Senior member
Mar 22, 2000
340
0
0
Mike Magee of The Inquirer has updated the reports he first posted thursday. He now claims &quot;evidence is now mounting&quot; and that the Alpha division of Compaq will indeed by sold to Intel in the coming week. Here is his story... The Inquirer: Intel Gets Alpha

matthew
 

Drakino

Member
Dec 31, 2000
158
0
0
Intel's official press release

Basicially Intel gets some of the Alpha engineers, and Intel has finally got the rights to touch the Alpha, now that they have their own 64 bit chip. Compaq is slowly migrating all the server lines to the Itanium, but not before all the pieces are in place to ensure Tru64 runs on Itanium. Basicially the Alpha now has an end of life of 2004, but customers needing high end servers will continue to see availability of machines beyond 2004 that are compatible with what they are doing.

Compaq still controls and owns the Alpha. But Compaq is deciding to help create a more unified server market, instead of the fragmented one that exists today in the high end space.
 

DragonFire

Golden Member
Oct 9, 1999
1,042
0
0
What Im wondering about is what will happen with AMD? AMD use information/hardware from Alpha for there EV6 bus. I wounder if that would give Intel access to some of AMD's secerts?
 

Wingznut

Elite Member
Dec 28, 1999
16,968
2
0
&quot;Short answer:
Ummm. No.&quot;


DOH! ;) (Don't you hate it when that happens? I said the same thing about 3dfx/nVidia just a couple days before it happened. :eek:)
 

BurntKooshie

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,204
0
0
And technically, they don't own Alpha. They have rights to it, and Compaq is discontinuing most future projects, while Intel will offer the engineers jobs. It's basically compaq saying &quot;here you go intel, here's our technology, do with it what you will, we'll stop development of what we've got (except Ev7, which is too far along to just kill)&quot;.
 

Graylien

Member
Jul 21, 2000
59
0
0


<< What Im wondering about is what will happen with AMD? AMD use information/hardware from Alpha for there EV6 bus. I wounder if that would give Intel access to some of AMD's secerts? >>



I doubt it. AMD and Intel, although market rivals, actually share quite a bit of information.See here.
 

SuperTool

Lifer
Jan 25, 2000
14,000
2
0
I think SMT from EV7 could do wonders for Itanium. 20 execution pipelines are just begging for SMT. I was hoping EV7 would go head to head with Itanium and whoop some behind. But sadly, Alpha is dead.
It's truly sad. Just shows that it doesn't always help to be the best.
 

BurntKooshie

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
4,204
0
0
The SMT Alpha was going to be EV8, or 21464, not EV7. There are intrinsic problems with doing SMT on an IA-64 architecture. One of which being the massive, massive register file. If you duplicate that many times for any substantial number of threads, the clock rate will be severely limited.
 

SuperTool

Lifer
Jan 25, 2000
14,000
2
0
Good point, BurntKooshie.
I forgot that it was EV8. Considering that I worked for CPQ last summer, it's a bit embarassing :)
Anyways, your point about register duplication is right. It's also probably too late to incorporate it into the architecture spec. I do think that Intel hit a gold mine with the Alpha intellectual property. I am sure there are plenty goodies in there. Maybe they will get a half way descent FPU from them to hold a handle to the Athlon.
Intel should have just bought Alpha outright instead of spending so much time and money on EPIC. I still think EV8 will smoke the Itanium on most applications, without need for these complex EPIC compilers.