Evolution (or Eulogy) of Alpha Microprocessors

Wednesday, November 28, 2001 - 17:30
TH 331
Allen Baum Intel

In the nearly ten years since the Alpha microprocessor was developed, its three generations of implementation held an almost perfect record as a performance leader. This talk will describe where the Alpha started, how it evolved over time, where it will go, and where it would have gone in the future.

The talk will examine the characteristics of all implementations of the Alpha microprocessor architecture starting from the original Alpha 21064, but will focus on the out-of-order pipeline of the currently shipping Alpha 21264. We'll look at how the performance increases enabled by changes in the micro-architecture scaled when moving from one generation to the next.

Also covered will be an overview of the upcoming Alpha 21364, and a preview of what the unfinished Alpha 21464 would have looked like.


Allen J. Baum received his BSEE and MSEE from MIT in 1974. He joined Digital Equipment Corp. in 1996 and is currently working on IA64 architectures at Intel.

He has worked previously worked on the processor architecture of the Alpha 21364 at Digital and Compaq, and the StrongArm SA1500 at Digital. Prior to that he worked on the Newton, Apple I & II, and RISC architectures at Apple, and was a member of the original PA-RISC architecture team at Hewlett-Packard.

He is currently chair of IEEE Technical Committee on Microprocessors and Microcomputers, and is the holder of 17 patents in the area of processor architecture.