Fairchild 944x

Eric Smith eric at brouhaha.com
Tue Nov 4 15:49:05 CST 2008


Chuck Guzis wrote:
> You'd have thought with DG not selling the MicroNova CPU to outside customers

They tried to sell it, they just weren't good at it.  They didn't want 
small customers, though they did send me the data sheets and such.  They 
wanted big customers, but they didn't want big customers that would 
produce general-purpose computers that would compete with low-end Nova 
minis.

I suppose they just wanted embedded designs, but everyone was using the 
8080, 6800, etc. for those.  For most embedded systems there was no 
obvious benefit to using a slow, expensive MicroNova instead.

DEC wasn't much better at selling their microprocessors either.  They 
got few outside design wins for the T11 and J11 processors, and the 
pricing wasn't competitive.  Same thing years later with the Alpha.  The 
marketing people bragged about how it outperformed the x86 and that the 
whole world would move to Alpha, but the price/performance ratio was 
substantially worse than that of the x86, so the only significant 
external design wins were for specialized systems that needed the 
highest possible uniprocessor performance.



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