30 Mar '14, 4am

25 Microchips That Shook the World

walk into a bar. They are Russell H. Fish III and Chuck H. Moore, and the bar is called Sh-Boom. No, this is not the beginning of a joke. It’s actually part of a technology tale filled with discord and lawsuits, lots of lawsuits. It all started in 1988 when Fish and Moore created a bizarre processor called Sh-Boom. The chip was so streamlined it could run faster than the clock on the circuit board that drove the rest of the computer. So the two designers found a way to have the processor run its own superfast internal clock while still staying synchronized with the rest of the computer. Sh-Boom was never a commercial success, and after patenting its innovative parts, Moore and Fish moved on. Fish later sold his patent rights to a Carlsbad, Calif.–based firm, Patriot Scientific, which remained a profitless speck of a company until its executives had a revelation: In the yea...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/processors/25-mic...

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