Compaq, Samsung place Alpha bet

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Compaq, Samsung place Alpha bet

Compaq and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics have placed a $500 million bet on Compaq’s Alpha microprocessor architecture.

The preliminary agreement between the two companies covers development and marketing or new Alpha-based chips and systems. It on also grants Alpha Processors Inc. the rights to adapt the Alpha chip for emerging markets in networking. Samsung owns 87 percent of Alpha Processors, where it builds chips under a Compaq license.

Compaq acquired the Alpha technology when it purchased Digital Equipment Corp. in June 1998.

Alpha chips were once hailed as a speedier alternative to Intel microprocessors in general-purpose computers, but Compaq has failed to win significant market share.

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