July 1974. The microcomputer

If there is one branch of electronic engineering which excites Motorola Semiconductor Products more than any other it is the microcomputer revolution which is about to burst upon us.

Here Comes the Start of the Microcomputer Revolution

If there is one branch of electronic engineering which excites Motorola Semiconductor Products more than any other it is the microcomputer revolution which is about to burst upon us.

Lothar Stern, talking to me in the Scottsdale, Arizona plant, likened the emergence of the microcomputer to the arrival of the steam engine and the transistor before it.

It is likely to emancipate the engineer from the single purpose hardwired application and the mystique of the system designer.

‘What distinguishes the microcomputer from its more elaborate predecessors,’ says Stern, ‘is that it is not really a recognisable computer at all.

‘Rather it is a family of individual components, very complex components to be sure, from which the systems designer himself chooses to meet his unique requirements.

‘Ideally such components should be designed to combine minimum complexity with maximum versatility. Too much circuitry on a single chip, even if technology permits, could make that chip too expensive for the more simple applications, thereby limiting its potential sales volume.’

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