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Alpha AXP or simply Alpha is a 64-bit RISC instruction set architecture designed by DEC and introduced in 1992.


Intended to succeed their VAX ISA, DEC developed Alpha with a limited set of primary goals: high-performance, clock speed, multiple issue, multiprocessing support, and longevity. Longevity was particularly important for DEC which is why it was set at at least 25 years. DEC went as far as to label Alpha as "The first 21st-century computer architecture". To achieve those goals, the Alpha design team only adopted key elements they regarded as absolutely essential and without creating potential for performance problems in the future.

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