DIGITAL Equipment Corp will begin shipping samples this month of the world's fastest and highest performance microprocessor, the Alpha 21164, manufactured in a 0.35-micron engineering process. The new chip will achieve the highest SPEC92 and SPEC95 ratings yet. 'Digital's Alpha microprocessors have held the industry lead for performance since the introduction of the first Alpha chip in February 1992,' said Joe LaValle, area manager, Asia Pacific with Digital Semiconductor. 'The 0.5-micron Alpha 21164 is currently the highest performance microprocessor in volume shipment. The 0.35-micron Alpha 21164 chip will keep Digital and Alpha in the performance lead through the next round of competitive product introductions. Mr LaValle said Digital expected to achieve 1000 SPECint92 in 1997 with its next-generation Alpha microprocessor, which would follow the Alpha 21164. Pricing and volume availability of the 0.35-micron Alpha 21164 microprocessor will be revealed later. Digital Semiconductor, a Digital Equipment business, designs, manufactures and markets industry-leading semiconductor products including Alpha microprocessors and PCI peripheral chips for networking, bridging and graphics-multimedia, as well as low-power StrongARM microprocessors under licence from Advanced RISC Machines. Digital Equipment is one of the world leaders in open client-server solutions from personal computing to integrated worldwide information systems.