Re: cheap as chips?

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Tue Jan 23 2001 - 19:49:34 MST

At 10:39 PM 22/01/01 +0100, 'gene wrote:

>> < Immediate prospects include a hugely expanded Internet, driven by
>> plummeting computer chip prices--well under a dollar apiece by 2000, around
>> 5 cents by 2005, a cent by 2010. >
>> How did that work out, so far?

>He doesn't say what kind of chip.

Apologies for the ill-formed question. Michio Kaku's 1998 Oxford Univ Press
book, VISIONS: How Science Will Revolutionize the Twenty-First Century,
cites Ron Bernal, president of MIPS Technologies, as predicting:

< the price of the microchips will drop to 10 cents by the year 2000, 4
cents by 2005, and 2 cents in 2010. Thomas George, general manager of
semiconductor products with Motorola, basically agrees, estimating that the
microchip will cost 50 cents in 2000, 7 cents in 2005, and 1 cent in 2010.
Eventually, microprocessors will be *as cheap as scrap paper*, and just as
plentiful. > (p. 29)

This quote doesn't get us a *whole* lot further to defining just what these
guys have in mind by `microchip', an object under ceaseless redefinition.
Most of the google cites I find to Ron Bernal, for example, are puffs for
his own redefinition. Back in 1996, e.g., he was saying:

"With the R10000 microprocessor, MIPS has redefined the CPU," said Ron
Bernal, president
    of MIPS Technologies, Inc. "Rather than create a showpiece for
benchmarks like SPEC, we
    designed the R10000 processor for the highest performance of real
commercial applications
    like transaction processing, data mining, decision support and high-end
file and data
    serving, in addition to technical applications like modeling,
visualization and a broad range
    of supercomputing challenges. The R10000 processor sets a new plateau
for microprocessor

Damien Broderick

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