Computer Business Review


CBR Staff Writer

18:30, January 10 1994

The Microprocessor Report has come out with its annual assessment of the state of play in the RISC microprocessor battle for supremacy over the last year, and suggests suitable awards for the major players. Digital Equipment Corp wins first place in the World's Fastest Microprocessor category with the 200MHz Alpha 21064, and wins First CPU to Integrate PCI Peripheral Component Interconnect loacl bus - on chip with the new 21066. Less encouragingly, DEC also takes the World's Fastest Vapourware award for the 275MHz 21064A, which is expected to ship some time in the third quarter of this year, and its plans to develop Alpha CPUs for handheld devices gets the Biggest Stretch of the Imagination award. IBM Corp's PowerPC claims a gong for Most Operating Systems Supported (Windows NT, Workplace, OS/2, AIX, Solaris, Taligent and perhaps Macintosh System) and its Power2 processor gets Most Superscalar Processor and Best Floating Point Performance of any shipping chip. The PowerPC also comes up trumps with the industry's Biggest Advertising Budget. MIPS takes both the Most Expensive Processor award with the TFP and the Lowest List Price with the R4200. Sun Microsystems Inc's SuperSparc and microSparc lines give it the Best Selling RISC Chip for general-purpose systems tag, but the overpriced SuperSparc is identified as the Slowest High End RISC processor. HaL Computer Systems, now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Ltd, gets the Waiting for Godot award for its long-awaited - and still not visible - 64-bit Sparc part. Hewlett-Packard Co saw DEC, MIPS Technologies Inc and IBM surpass its Precision Architecture 7100 in performance terms, although its latest announcements should help put it back in the race. Its PA-7100LC, now sampling, is fighting with the PowerPC 601 for the Fastest Low-End Processor slot. Motorola Inc wins the Longest Time as Vapourware award - 27 months - for the 88110, which began shipping last January, with the Ross HyperSparc, 15 months in the vapour, coming second. And Motorola wins the George Romero zombie award for a chip with little future (despite strong support from Data General Corp). Last year's Most Likely Casualty, the Intel Corp 80860, has now been officially declared dead.


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