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Alpha microprocessors have maintained leadership performance since their introduction in 1992. Three generations of microprocessors were designed by an experienced, highly skilled design team using a proven design methodology. These microprocessors achieve performance by focusing on high frequency design. The Alpha instruction set architecture (ISA) facilitates high clock speed, and the chip organization for each generation is carefully chosen to meet critical paths. In addition, DigitalÂ¿s CMOS technologies included specific features to enable high frequency, low-skew clock distribution. Complex circuit styles were used throughout these designs to meet aggressive cycle time goals. Close interaction between all of theses disciplines was essential to the success of these microprocessors. This paper will discusses some of the key technologies that have enabled Alpha microprocessors to maintain leadership performance.
Date of Conference: 12-14 June 1997