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PC MANUFACTURERS DISCOVER A NEW BREED OF CUSTOM CHIPS
Application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) are appearing in everything from cars to video games to supercomputers. ASICs can be customized to perform almost any function that requires fast, repetitive processing. And ASICs are "cheaper, smaller, and use less power," says Michael Slater, editor of the leading industry newsletter Microprocessor Report, of Palo Alto, Calif.
The recently released OkiLaser 820 laser printer from Okidata includes a custom ASIC capable of increasing performance to two or even three times that of similar laser printers, according to the company. Okidata officials say the …