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February 06, 1998 in Social Responsibility News

Alpha Roadmap Shows New Destinations For '98

SAN JOSE, Calif., USA - February 6, 1998 - Samsung Semiconductor Inc today disclosed its Alpha Microprocessor strategy for 1998, outlining significant OEM design wins, performance milestones expected to be achieved this year and the addition of new licensees to the Alpha camp. "Alpha continues to lead the world in performance, particularly in the visual computing markets where leading graphics system OEMs and movie studios are taking advantage of Alpha's tremendous graphics processing power," said Y.J. Kim, Associate Director, Alpha Processor Marketing at Samsung in San Jose, and also a Chairman of the AlphaPowered Alliance, an industry consortium around Alpha solutions. Carrera Computers, a leading provider of Alpha-based solutions to Hollywood, designed and installed the systems used to create and edit the visual effects in the movie, Titanic. "Samsung's Alpha microprocessors added value as well as performance to the Titanic production," said Rod Frye, Chairman of Carrera Computers (Laguna Hills, Calif.). "We look forward to a continuing relationship with Samsung."
When running leading special effects applications such as Lightwave3D in native mode, the Alpha systems developed by Carrera are capable of providing two or three times the performance of MIPs-powered systems from Silicon Graphics Inc., in a similar price range. Performance increases are similar in running any of the programs that have been ported to run natively under Alpha, including Quark Express, Corel Draw Suite, Wright Design and Painter 5.0 -- 3,200 total number of applications.

Alpha Powers New Servers

The server market is also embracing Alpha technology. Mactell Corp., an Apple Clone Manufacturer in Austin, Texas, is now using the Alpha 21164 processor in its line of Media Servers to provide twice the performance of systems using the Power PC microprocessor. "Mactell has experienced great interests and acceptance in the Macintosh marketplace with our Alpha-based Media Server," said Pat Berry, Vice President, Mactell Corporation.

Network Appliance is using the Alpha processor to power a range of network data servers that provide the fastest response time and highest throughput in the industry. A combination of NetApp's proprietary software and the Alpha processor allows NetApp's single processor data servers to beat general-purpose servers with four or more Ultra Sparc processors. NetApp's Alpha-based systems provide enterprise-class data service to both Unix and Windows networks.

More Momentum in Embedded

At the high end of the embedded computing market, companies such as Hypertechnologies (Cary, North Carolina) are currently working on systems that offer two to four times the performance of the best RISC- or CISC-based systems. "Systems capable of running at 1 Gigaflop using a single Alpha processor can outperform systems using five or more of the best digital signal processing chips available," said to Ken Boyette, President of Hypertechnologies.

AMD Licenses Alpha Bus

In the mainstream desktop computing environments, Alpha garnered additional credibility when Advanced Micro Devices announced its use of the Alpha bus to achieve pin-compatibility between its own K7 microprocessor and the Alpha 21264. This will allow OEMs to build extremely high performance but cost effective systems that are socket-compatible with either the K7 or the Alpha processor.

"The ability to use either processor in their systems will give OEMs the ability to cover a range of top to bottom price points with the same motherboard design," Kim said. "The combination of AMD's K7 and Alpha will give OEMs a higher performance alternative to the Merced processor that also offers a higher margin."

21264 versions of Alpha will be the first 1 GHz processors with 100 SPECint95 range that have compatibility with the latest version of the Windows NT operating system. Alpha will achieve full compatibility with NT 5.0, adding to its over three years of experience in achieving full compatibility and the highest levels of performance under NT. NT 5.0 will also include Digital FX!32 x86 Windows 32-bit binary translator for Alpha in the OS kernal, making X86 compatibility seamless to users.

"Alpha represents a significant opportunity to Samsung as both a leading edge product and as a logic process technology driver," said Noel Park, Vice President of Samsung's System LSI division. "Alpha will lead the way for the new System LSI solutions Samsung plans to bring to market."

About Samsung Semiconductor

Samsung Semiconductor is a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, an $18.8 billion dollar division of the $92.7 billion, Korean-based, Samsung Group. Samsung's Semiconductor Division is the seventh largest semiconductor manufacturer and the leading producer of memory products in the world. Samsung Semiconductor's North American headquarters are located in San Jose, California. Samsung was the first company to introduce the 64-Megabit DRAM and the first fully functional 256-Megabit DRAM in 1994. In November 1996, Samsung had the world's first working silicon for the 1-Gigabit DRAM. Samsung's System LSI products, include ASICs, microcontrollers, power devices, media products and the 0.25um Alpha processor.

Vera Haire
(408) 544-4120

Hugh Willett
(408) 341-8978

Reader Contact:
Y.J. Kim
Samsung Semiconductor, Inc.
(408) 544-4510

Digital, Alpha and Digital FX!32 are trademarks of Digital Equipment Corporation. Samsung and the Samsung logo are trademarks of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Microsoft and Windows NT are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. All other brand or product names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

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