Alpha platform

Definition of Alpha platform in The Network Encyclopedia.

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What is Alpha platform?

A computer platform whose processor is based on the DEC Alpha RISC architecture microprocessor. Alpha is one of two processor platforms supported by Microsoft Windows NT (the other being Intel’s x86 platform).

Alpha-based systems, which are used primarily for high-performance servers and workstations, can run operating systems such as Windows NT, Digital UNIX, and OpenVMS.

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Alpha 21164 Processor

The Alpha 21164 processor is specifically designed for running Windows NT desktop applications and includes a new set of motion video instructions (MVI) for high-performance multimedia applications. The superscalar design of this processor integrates a 16-KB instruction cache, an 8-KB data cache, and a 96-KB second-level cache and can issue four instructions for each clock cycle.

It uses 0.35-micron CMOS-integrated circuit technology and a fully pipelined 64-bit RISC architecture to provide the highest performance for Windows NT systems. The processor is housed in a 499-pin ceramic package and generates 28 watts of heat when running at 366 MHz. It is designed to work with the AlphaPC 164LX motherboard.