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It is well known that a continuing trend in the development of digital computers has been towards improved cost efficiency, leading to expansion into new applications. In large measure this trend has resulted from continuing improvements in component technology. Remarkable advances in the miniaturization and integration of electronic components, particularly in the past ten years, have ushered in an era of microelectronics in which improvements of unprecedented magnitude in the size, cost, performance, and reliability of computer systems have been achieved. The emergence of microprocessor technology has played an especially significant role in this progress.
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