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The past twenty-five years have been marked by unprecedented progress in electronic component development, progress which has provided increases of many orders of magnitude in measures of component performance. This has led to remarkable improvements in the performance, cost, and reliability of computer systems. Much of this progress had been provided by the advances in semiconductor technology and the emergence of the integrated circuit. In addition, the increasing capabilities of components have made possible new approaches and more complex functions in systems architecture and machine design, a symbiotic interaction which continues apace. The simultaneous development of the digital computer and semiconductor component technology has generated the explosive growth of both.
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