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Processor and Storage

These two categories represent, respectively, the least expensive and the most expensive components in our fantasy machine. They are presented together because of the great influence the processor has on the amount of primary memory needed.

What follows is an attempt to show that both the performance and the packaging requirements are not necessarily incompatible with today's technologies (although a hand will occasionally have to be waved). Just as in the HP-35 pocket electronic "slide rule", the main savior of our dreams is cheap LSI components. The HP-35 uses five LSI chips with an equivalent of 30,000 transistors, for an average density of 6000 transistors/chip. Even better packaging densities are now being accomplished. The price of a packaged LSI chip seems to approach $12.00 asymtotically over a two-year period, then may dip suddenly to about $5.00.

Complete CPUs are now available on single chips. The challenge now lies more in determining what characteristics the processor should have rather than using just anything that will package nicely.

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