Compaq said it will work to improve performance of its Alpha processor, adding a new processor core and multithread processing capabilities to its Alpha EV8 chip, due next year. The forthcoming Alpha, known as the EV8, will offer 1GHz to 1.2GHz clock speeds with Copper interconnects and support for Direct Rambus RDRAM. The chip will scale to 2GHz. Its design will support simultaneous multi threading, using four thread processing units in each chip.
Chip makers will take advantage of a number of different techniques to increase performance in their next-generation chips. Where Intel will work to increase the number of instructions processed per processor clock, AMD, Compaq and IBM will offer greater support for multithreading. AMD and IBM will also begin offering multiple processors on the same chip.
The approach that works the best remains to be seen, but, Gwennap said, "the right answer is to do it all. ... It's going to be exiting to see how this works out."
The announcements came at this week's Microprocessor Forum, a San Jose, California, gathering of chip designers sponsored by Micro Design Resources.
Take me to the Pentium III Special.
Take me to the Merced Special.