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lisp machines vs. lisp on other boxes

    Date: Thu, 28 May 87 14:06:32 EDT
    From: dms@hermes.ai.mit.edu (David M. Siegel)

    A problem that Symbolics, and any company that relies on their own
    custom hardware, has is that they are in constant competition with
    hardware houses. 

There is some truth in this, but it's not the whole story.  Symbolics
makes computers using hardware technology purchased from suppliers, like
everyone else; it's just one level lower.  You have probably seen the
news articles about the Symbolics Lisp chip.  Naturally, the chip is
produced by outside chip producers, and as they are able to supply
better and faster chip technology, Symbolics will be able to produce
better and faster chips.

If you look at the Sun 3/2xx series, you'll see that they did a great
deal of their own hardware work.  Only some of that comes from
Motorola's own speed increases.  Symbolics will benefit from some of the
same improvements in silicon technology that Motorola will.  Yes, it
takes more effort for Symbolics because we tie in at the silicon level
instead of the chip level.  But it's made up for by the benefits of the
superior architecture, to the people for whom the architecture is
intended.  Please note that speed advantages are not the only reason
that we use our processor architecture.