December 12, 1996 11:00 AM ET
Digital accelerates Alpha push with substantial price cuts
By Lisa DiCarlo

  In yet another move to position its Alpha processor as a more viable mainstream computing platform, Digital Equipment Corp. on Wednesday cut prices of the Alpha 21164 nearly in half.

The move could bring Alpha-based workstation pricing more in line with that of a richly configured Windows NT system running Intel Corp.'s latest Pentium Pro processors.

The cuts encompass all four RISC processors in the 21164 lineup.

The 300MHz model was cut from $695 to $395, the 366MHz from $950 to $495, the 433MHz from $1,492 to $750 and the 500MHz model, introduced this quarter, is now priced at $1,450.

Over the past several months, Digital Semiconductor, of Hudson, Mass., has kicked off initiatives and released products that it hopes will push Alpha system pricing to less than $3,000 to compete with high-end, Intel-based systems.

For example, its FX32 translation software, which is available now, lets users run Windows 95 applications on an Alpha system. In addition, Digital Semiconductor partnered with VLSI Technology Inc. for the development of Alpha-based core logic and subsystems and signed on Samsung Semiconductor Inc. and Mitsubishi Electronics America Inc. as a second source for Alpha manufacturing.

Although Digital officials in the Systems Business Unit said they will pass component savings on to customers whenever they can, there is no specific plan to cut pricing on Alpha-based servers or workstations.

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