Alpha chips made better

DIGITAL Equipment Corp has launched two new Alpha AXP chips, the first to integrate the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) local bus controller on the chip.

DEC said the chips were aimed at promoting the Alpha AXP chip family to bigger markets, such as those for Windows NT personal computers.

''We believe that the power of the Alpha AXP architecture will enable end users to tap into the full potential of Windows NT,'' a spokesman said.

DEC's push was a direct challenge to other microprocessor makers.

The DECchip 21066 architecture is the first in a family of cheap, highly integrated chips for the Windows NT desktop market.

''We expect PCs based on the DECchip 21066 microprocessor to perform better and cost less than a comparable Pentium or PowerPC-based system,'' DEC said.

''The processor costs less and we have eliminated the cost of the system logic chip set.'' The second chip, the DECchip 21068, is derived from the DECchip 21066 and is intended for use in embedded applications with lower power needs.