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Essential Guide to Computing: The Story of Information Technology, The by E. Garrison Walters

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Chapter 4. Silicon Economics

In the Introduction, it was observed that computing is going through a period of extraordinarily rapid change. At the end of only fifty years, we are about to leave the fourth distinct generation and begin the fifth. More dramatic, there have been three generational shifts in the last two decades alone. Although there are enormous economic issues in software and networking, the fact is that the foundation for change is in hardware and that the interplay of technology and market in this area is exceptionally important and complex. As a result, this chapter will begin with the core issue of how chips are fabricated, then move on to consider the principal vendors of CPUs and the architectural choices they have made. ...

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