The Last Call

The Last Call

It was New Year's Eve in 1998 when we found this unusual signal for the last call embedded within the circuitry of the first version of Digital Equipment's Alpha microprocessor. The real significance of this sign escapes us, but it was lucky that we found it before the real "Last Call" that night.

Aaron Sakovich and Joseph Ashwood have provided us with a suggestion about the meaning of this sign on the Alpha processor. They contend that when this microprocessor was designed, it was the most powerful architecture yet conceived and built. The sign was placed on the chip to warn competitors that they had one last chance to introduce a superior processor before the Alpha blew away all of the competition.


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