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Re: Compaq / DEC buyout (fwd)

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> Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 14:51:45 -0800
> From: Tim May <[email protected]>
> Subject: Re: Compaq / DEC buyout (fwd)

> This is simply untrue, that DEC historically has been way ahead of Intel.

I'm not going to get in a pissing contest with Tim, since he obviously has
some connection to Intel...

> The Alpha is a different type of chip. Anyone who has analyzed the past few
> years, the past decade, and the past couple of decades would have a hard
> time making the case that DEC has been ahead of Intel in the overall
> combination of design and manufacturing.

The bottem line is they are both Von Neumann architectures and can be reduced
to a single bit Turing machine. As a result they *most* certainly can be

I have owned Intel and DEC machines since the late 70's. I started out on a
DEC PDP 8e in 1976 a friend game me when I was in high school and bought a
S-100 Intel 8080 machine about a year later. Since that time I have owned
80186, 80286, 80836, 80486, and Pentium machines as well as PDP 11/03,
PDP 11/23, PDP 11/34, & MicroVax II. Given a comparison by date the DEC
machines have had a higher clock frequency and generaly been a generation
or so ahead of Intel in the capabilities of the hardware. Further, the
operating system architectures available on the hardware, until the last
6-8 years anyway, also went to DEC when it came to scalability and usability.
The fact that NT was available on both the Intel and Alpha architectures
pretty much at the same time makes any further comparison moot except for
market share (which I alluded to the main forces in an earlier post). Unix
was available on the DEC architectures LONG (what, 20 years?) before it every
even thought about being put on a Intel cpu.

> As you should know, Intel will be making the Alpha chip, as its
> manufacturing capabilities are _overall_ in advance of DEC's. (Beware of

Then why isn't the Intel cranking at 500MHz now like the Alpha? Why is every
market comparison for the chips shows the DEC staying ahead of the Intel in
base clock frequency (I won't even get into architecture efficiencies) for
the next 5-8 years?

> capabilities...Intel has its own R&D fabs, currently developing 0.13 micron
> capabilities...DEC will not be participating in this move to sub-0.20
> micron areas.)

I bet now that Compaq has given them the sorts of resources they had to go
head to head with IBM from the late 60's to the early 80's that could change
pretty quickly, even considering the multi-billion dollar start-up costs of
modern fabs.

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