Final technical rept. 26 May-26 Nov 98,
TANNER RESEARCH INC PASADENA CA
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The field of micro-electronics is well known for its extremely high rate of change components such as microprocessors, microcontrollers, and ASICs Application-Specific Integrated Circuits, are replaced by new models every few years. This high rate of change is a mixed blessing for system designers. On the one hand, it allows them to address increasingly difficult problems with increasingly capable components on the other hand, it means that any system built only a few years ago now contains old and obsolete parts. Thus system maintenance gradually becomes very difficult, if not impossible. System design is a complex undertaking, as systems can contain from just a few to many thousands of components, and most modern systems contain software as well as hardware. Yet, any particular system is normally produced in vastly lower volume than its components, and more importantly, a systems life cycle is almost never well aligned with the life cycle of the components from which it is constructed. These factors combine to make it prohibitively expensive to update systems at the rate dictated by their component integrated circuits. As a result, it is typically the earliest innovators who find themselves holding large numbers of legacy systems, systems which can no longer be incrementally upgraded and will eventually fall into disrepair.
- Electrical and Electronic Equipment
- Computer Programming and Software