From:         yarvin@CS.YALE.EDU (Norman Yarvin)
Organization: Yale Computer Science Department
Date:         01 Jul 95 02:24:41 
References:   1 2 3
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Robert Dorsett writes:

> Oh, and Boeing is also proudly proclaiming this airplane has more computers
> than any other airplane.  Something on the order of 150.  For those who
> think this is a good thing, I guess Boeing is winning the chip war. :-)

My guess is that most of these are single-chip microcontrollers which
perform simple functions and are not connected to other computers.
There's a reason why these microcontrollers have found their way into a
whole lot of things including many pieces of consumer electronics: even
though a circuit implemented with transistors, capacitors, small logic
chips containing a few gates, and so forth, is generally simpler (if
one takes a broad perspective and counts the complexity that has to be
dealt with by the designers of the microcontroller), it also often:

	1. takes more space. (It's a lot of discrete components as opposed
		to a single chip.)
	2. weighs more.
	3. costs more. (A simple microcontroller costs under a dollar.
		Individually packaged transistors are cheaper but one
		needs more of them.)
	4. is harder to design.  (Programming is easier than designing
		a circuit.)

Calling microcontrollers computers is a bit of a stretch, because they
are not what most people think of when they hear the word computer.
But strictly speaking they are computers, just small ones.

Norman Yarvin
 "I have observed that persons of good sense seldom fall into disputes,
  except lawyers, university men, and men of all sorts that have been
  bred at Edinborough." -- Ben Franklin