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Applications and architectures [microprocessor chips]

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1 Author(s)
Wolf, W. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Princeton Univ., NJ, USA

Chips are getting more expensive both to design and to manufacture. That makes it tempting for semiconductor companies to push more functions onto a single chip, using software to customize it for specific applications. Using software to customize a few platforms for a variety of applications spreads the mask costs over more chips. It also saves the time of switching from one mask set to another. Time is money, so reducing the variety of parts that require fabrication helps reduce costs in other ways as well. As a result, chip manufacturers try to design platforms that can support a range of products. Customers who buy the chips to build systems use software to customize the functionality.

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:37 ,  Issue: 11 )