Mitsubishi Drops Alpha

Mitsubishi Electric, the third member of the AlphaPowered alliance along with Digital Equipment and Samsung, has dropped manufacturing and marketing of its low-cost Alpha CPU.

Mitsubishi Electric, the third member of the AlphaPowered alliance along with Digital Equipment and Samsung, has dropped manufacturing and marketing of its low-cost Alpha CPU.

Mitsubishi thought the Alpha processor would become a mass-market CPU, said Nathan Brookwood, a principal analyst at Dataquest, in San Jose, California.

While Digital (which is now part of Compaq) and Samsung continued development of the 21164 and higher-performance 21264 Alpha chips, Mitsubishi concentrated on the 21164PC version.

The 21164PC, co-designed by Digital and Mitsubishi, aimed to enable desktop PCs with Alpha performance and a price less than US$2,600.

"Although Mitsubishi Electric has participated with Digital in the joint development of the Alpha processor, in light of the current severe business environment facing our company, we have frozen all of our Alpha operations as part of a restructuring effort," said a Mitsubishi representative. "Together with the suspension of all production and sales activities relating to the M3D21164PC, Mitsubishi Electric has also refrained from making new investments in this area."

"There were no outside factors influencing our decision," the Mitsubishi executive said. "Neither the Compaq/Digital agreement nor the recent launching of Alpha Processor were considerations in our decision."

Digital Equipment Corp., in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, can be reached at http://www.digital.com/semiconductor. Mitsubishi Electronics America Inc., in Sunnyvale, California, can be reached at http://www.mitsubishi.com. Samsung Semiconductor Inc., in San Jose, California, can be reached at http://www.samsung.com.

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