What is Alpha? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Microprocessors glossary:

Alpha is both a microprocessor and the name of a computer system from the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), which is now part of Compaq. The Alpha processor uses a newer and more advanced architecture than DEC's flagship computer line, the VAX . The Alpha is based on reduced instruction set computer (reduced instruction set computing) architecture and handles 64 bits at a time. DEC has added its own refinements to the RISC architecture to further increase performance.

The latest models of DEC's Alpha computer systems are offered with either DEC's UNIX operating system or with Windows NT . (DECUS states that DEC's OpenVMS also runs on Alpha computers.) DEC offers its AlphaServer together with a packaged solution with Digital's AltaVista search engine for indexing and searching data within an enterprise's intranet . Its AlphaStation line offers personal workstations in the $4-8,000 range.

This was last updated in April 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms


  • system-on-a-chip (SoC)

    - System-on-a-chip (SoC) technology is the packaging of all the necessary electronic circuits and parts for a "system" (such as a cell phone or digital camera) on a single integrated circuit (IC), ge... (WhatIs.com)

  • holographic processing unit (HPU)

    - Holographic processing unit (HPU) is what Microsoft has named the coprocessor in its HoloLens virtual reality (VR) headset. The HPU conducts the processing that integrates real world and data for a... (WhatIs.com)

  • quad-core processor

    - A quad-core processor is a chip with four independent units called cores that read and execute central processing unit (CPU) instructions such as add, move data, and branch. (WhatIs.com)


  • Microprocessors

    - Terms related to microprocessors, including definitions about silicon chips and words and phrases about computer processors.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question. Find an Answer.Powered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Ask An IT Question

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Ask Question

Tech TalkComment



    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.