Mitsubishi Electric stops Alpha microprocessor manufacture

Mitsubishi Electric stops Alpha microprocessor manufacture
Tom Foremski
Mitsubishi Electric has stopped manufacturing its low-priced Alpha microprocessor because of continuing problems in Asian markets, leaving Samsung as the only major booster for the powerful RISC chip.
Mitsubishi’s 21164PC Alpha microprocessor was designed to help build a market for cheap, powerful Windows NT workstations using PC components for lower prices, but a large enough market never developed. Mitsubishi said that economic conditions in its target markets had forced it to drop the product and concentrate on more profitable businesses.
Intel and Samsung remain the only producers of Alpha microprocessors but Intel says it is merely fulfilling an obligation as part of its patent settlement with Digital and it has no current plans to actively seek new customers for the Alpha. Samsung is much more aggressive and recently formed a new marketing unit to promote Alpha.
With Mitsubishi dropping out of the Alpha market, it is good news for Samsung which is hoping that Alpha will produce a more profitable business than its DRAM business.

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