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Technology Change and the Rise of New Industries$
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Jeffrey L. Funk

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780804783859

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804783859.001.0001

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(p.67) 4 Computers
Technology Change and the Rise of New Industries
Stanford University Press

This chapter, which presents a detailed analysis of the discontinuities in computers, exploring the time lag between the identification of concepts and architectures that form the basis of technological discontinuities, first shows how improvements in vacuum tubes made the first electronic computers (mainframes) possible in the 1950s. It then shows how exponential improvements in integrated circuits (ICs) led to discontinuities in computers, and how improvements in ICs changed the trade-offs that users and suppliers make between cost and performance for computers.

Keywords:   discontinuities, computers, time lag, vacuum tubes, mainframes, integrated circuits, ICs, cost, performance

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