Future of AXP

Lukas Dobrek dobrek at itp.uni-hannover.de
Wed Nov 14 14:18:06 CET 2001

I think it can be interesting for some of you.


----- Forwarded message from "William H. Magill" <magill at isc.upenn.edu> -----

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> From: "William H. Magill" <magill at isc.upenn.edu>
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> Subject: Alpha roadmap
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> Date: Tue, 25 Sep 2001 15:36:29 -0400 (EDT)
> >   From: kjetil.bugge at borregaard.com
> >   Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2001 09:59:14 +0200
> >
> >   Jay, I see that you are an employee of Compaq
> >
> >   Do you have any clue of what is happening with the Alpha-processor, now
> >   when HP is taking over Compaq ?
> >   Maybe you have some "inside" information....... ;-)
> Compaq employees are in the "quiet period" mandated by the Securities and
> Exchange commision. Technically, they can't comment on things without
> clearing it with "the lawyers."
> However, I have a copy of the Alpha/IPF and Tru64 Roadmap Power Point
> presentations from the CETS2001 conference last week. Nothing new in them. 
> (They can be distributed but are about a meg or two in size. If you
> attended the conference, they are now all on the conference web site for
> download. www.cets2001.com)
> Basically EV 8 is now history. Scheduled (most recently) for 2004 it has
> been canceled completely, being replaced with an EV7/9 speed-bump in late
> 2003.
> In place of the EV8 in 2004, Compaq will begin building "alphas" with IA64
> chips.
> Alpha based processors themselves will supposedly still be built and sold
> through about 2006-10ish time frame. It all depends on if there are any
> people out there who still want to buy the old boxes, nominally EV7/9
> based.
> [My personal prediction is that HP-Q won't be selling many alpha
> systems past 2003 except to existing customers who are software trapped.
> Unless my other prediction proves true -- the Madison and it's follow-on
> still will run slower than the EV7/9 through about 2008. Madison won't be
> around until 2006, not 2004 as projected, and the IPF follow-on won't see
> the light of day until 2-4 years after that.... even with all of the Alpha
> design engineers going to work at Intel. In fact, I'm not even convinced
> that we will see McKinley before 2004. (And forget about SPARC4, it will be
> the next chip abandoned.)]
> Support (hardware and software) for the Alpha platforms will probably last 
> through 2010-2015, again depending upon market demand and existing
> contracts. 
> Today, Tru64 runs on the IA64. Project Bravo ported the 4.x code stream
> some two years ago.  All of the nasty Compiler technology was developed
> then. The current 5.x code stream has apparently been completely ported
> (read re-compiled) already. 
> [I'm still bitching at people, but there are currently no plans in the
> road-map to make the Tru64 on IA64 OS available outside of Compaq -- even
> though this would give Tru64 a 2-3 year jump on HP-UX as both a 64 bit OS
> and one that runs on IA64. But that statement was made last week before the
> Lawyers said, no you can't talk to HP until the merger is approved. So
> there is some hope.] 
> Open VMS and NSK are expected to take about 2 years to port to IA64.
> In the interum will come ?maybe? the HP-Compaq "merger." Unlike the
> GE-Honeywell failure, today's (25 Sept) meeting between the US and EU
> Anti-trust folks, in a "post WTC" environment, are likely to pave the way 
> for a rapid approval... but who knows. If the process IS speed-ed up and
> the approval given, first half of 2002 still seems like a reasonable date
> for shareholder approvals.
> One last point, Samsung can still make all the Alphas it wants to, but I
> don't believe that it does.
> > Fortunately, HP knows much more about former DEC than Compaq did and
> > does. I'm pretty sure, they (HP) know exactly, what they have
> > purchased. The DEC part of Compaq and HP are companies very much alike.
> >
> HP and DEC are (or were) alike only in that the original companies 10+
> years ago were run by engineers. Today both HP and Compaq are run by
> Financial people. And if HP thinks it purchased a working Services
> organization, they are buying the same crock that Compaq got from Digital.
> Interestingly, amost 50% of HP's revenue comes from its printer division.
> The merged company will have a roughly even split between the 4 divisions
> -- Printers/PCs/Servers/Services. If that is good "asset allocation" or
> not, only time will tell.
> Don't forget that Fiorina was in a desperate condition -- she had to get
> revenues up, and since she couldn't fix the company (she tried that the
> year before and they continued to spiral downward), she went out an bought
> "increased revenues." 
> > So the only thing that puzzles me, is why Compaq got rid of Alpha in
> > june. Was this part of the plan together with HP?
> No, I think it had as much to do with Intel killing off AMD by getting rid
> of the largest purchaser of AMD chips.
> Well, the IA64 announcement was something like June 24th... something like
> 10 days later Fiorina and Capellas met for lunch.
> -- 
>                         www.tru64unix.compaq.com
>                               www.tru64.org
>                              comp.unix.tru64
> T.T.F.N.
> William H. Magill                          Senior Systems Administrator
> Information Services and Computing (ISC)   University of Pennsylvania
> Internet: magill at isc.upenn.edu             magill at acm.org
> http://www.isc-net.upenn.edu/~magill/

----- End forwarded message -----

Łukasz Dobrek
   An optimist believes that we live in the best of all possible worlds.
   A pessimist is sure that this must be so.
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