Last Updated on October 22, 2023 by Kevin Chen
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Integrated circuits are quite expensive. Keep in mind that the process of designing and manufacturing ICs is quite hectic hence the high cost of these chips.
However, there are some ICs that are super expensive.
In this article, we are going to outline the most expensive ICs of all time.
We will discuss their features and even the reasons behind their high prices.
Factors that determine the cost of integrated circuits
Before we even look at the specific ICs, let’s look at some of the key factors that determine the final cost of integrated circuits.
Yes, the components found in the integrated circuit determine the cost of the integrated circuit.
Usually, integrated circuits with complex components such as integrated capacitors and transistors tend to be more expensive than those without.
Design and manufacturing process
The design and manufacturing process also affects the price of integrated circuits. The complexity of a chip’s design affects its cost significantly.
For example, integrated circuits that require a lot of designing and multiple processes to manufacture will be more expensive than integrated circuits with simpler design.
The material used to make integrated circuits is also a key factor when it comes to pricing.
Integrated circuits made from expensive materials such as gallium arsenide will be more expensive than integrated circuits made from cheaper materials such as silicon.
Another factor that affects integrated circuit pricing is the power requirements. Integrated circuits with higher power requirements will be more expensive than integrated circuits with lower power requirements.
Purpose of the IC
Where do you intend to use the chip? Or what is the chip designed for? This will go a long way in determining the final cost.
Some integrated circuits are designed for complex applications while others are for simple applications.
The previous ones will definitely be more expensive.
Now that we have discussed the factors that determine integrated circuit pricing, let’s look at some of the most expensive integrated circuits ever made.
The Intel 8080
The Intel 8080 was one of the first 8-bit microprocessors released by Intel in 1974 and it was definitely quite pricey for its time.
It cost up to $360 back then which is equivalent to around $1,800 today. This integrated circuit integrated an 8-bit data bus, 16-bit address bus and supports 4K of memory.
Intel Xeon Phi 7290F
This integrated circuit from Intel comes with 1,664 cores and a price tag of just shy of $15,000. It is used for data-intensive tasks such as machine learning, deep learning, and artificial intelligence.
NVIDIA Tesla V100
Another integrated circuit that costs a pretty penny is the NVIDIA Tesla V100. It comes with 5,120 CUDA cores and 16GB of HBM2 memory. It can be used for rendering, virtual reality, and gaming applications.
It retails at around $10,000.
AMD EPYC 7742
This integrated circuit from AMD offers 64 processing cores with a high clock speed of 2.25GHz.
It has a price tag of around $7,000 which makes it one of the most expensive integrated circuits in the market today.
The chip is used for tasks such as cloud computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
The Kodak KAF-1300 Image Sensor
This is another IC that was invented in 1986 and installed in Kodak’s DCS 100 digital camera. As the name suggests, the chip was specifically designed for high-speed image sensing.
It was designed with integrated capacitors, transistors and other components which gave it its hefty price tag of around $20,000.
Well, this is a high-performance microchip that is mainly used for aerospace applications.
It has premium features such as radiation resistance.
Designed and manufactured by Atme, the chip costs up to $100,000 making it among the most expensive ICs in the market.
It has a 32-bit architecture and its power consumption is rated 1W at 1000MHz
This chip is manufactured by XILINX. The price tag of $25,000 makes it among the most expensive ICs in the market.
But, what features does it come with?
The integrated circuit is equipped with a total of 8^14 LUTs, 4^12 flip-flops, and 4^8 Block RAM.
It has high switching capacity as well as integrated power management. Hence, it can be used for applications that require extensive processing capabilities.
Another unique feature of this IC is the type of packaging used. It features
this integrated circuit is manufactured by the brand Atmel. It is also ranked among the most expensive integrated circuits in the market going by its price tag($60,000).
And what makes it expensive?
Well, it is also an aerospace-grade IC meaning that it is packaged with lots of premium features that you won’t find in ordinary ICs.
One of the most notable features of this IC is the integrated real-time operating system that allows it to carry out complex tasks with minimal power consumption.
It has a system clock speed of 25MHZ.
This is another chip from a XLINX. The $20,000 market price makes it among the most popular chips in the market.
But do the features and performance match the price?
First, it is an aerospace-grade chip. You are guaranteed of getting the best performance from this radiation-resistant IC.
Also, it is worth noting that this IC is integrated with up to 17,520 logic cells and 4^8 block RAM.
Its integrated DSP core is clocked at 1.5GHz which is also quite impressive.
Perhaps these top-end features are the reasons for its high price tag.
Ryzen Threadripper Pro 3995WX
Beyond the commercial-centric ICs, let’s come back to the ICs that are used for the common applications, and this Ryzen Pro 3995 WX takes the center stage. We can comfortably rate it among the most expensive ICs.
It is priced at $8000.
And what does this IC have to offer?
You will get 64 cores and 128 threads.
These two features alone mean that it is perfect chip for the rigs.
It has a calibrated clock speed of 2.7Ghz though you can overclock it up to 4 Ghz.
The IC’s L3 cache has a memory capacity of 32 GB.
It is integrated with 8^14 LUTs and 4^12 flip-flops.
Overall, it is a great integrated chip for users who need some serious processing power.
Intel Xeon Platinum 8270
Priced at $14,800, this is among Intel’s most expensive integrated circuit. It has a clock speed of 2.7Ghz and contains 28 cores. It is usually used in servers due to its ultra-high performance capabilities and integrated motherboard functions.
The IC is highly scalable with a cache memory of 32GB. Furthermore,the six memory channels give it an edgy performance.
Intel Core i7-10700K
With the price tag of $29,000, this IC boasts of L3 cache with the memory of 16GB.
It is quite a handy chip that will a clock speed of 2.8Ghz and can be maxed to 3.8Ghz when backed with turbo boost.
It is an ideal IC for gaming rigs.
This integrated circuit is also quite expensive with a price tag of $3,990. It is ideal for heavy workloads and servers due to its 64 cores which are clocked at the rate of 2.9GHz with a maximum clock speed of 4.3GHz when turbo-boosted.
Why are integrated circuits so expensive?
Probably you are wondering why most ICs tend to be expensive. Here are the top reasons why.
The materials are not easily available
Some materials for the wafer fabrication process, such as the semiconductor substrate, are not easily available or are very expensive. This drives up the cost of production and hence, the retail price you pay for an IC.
High manufacturing costs
The manufacturing process for integrated circuits is complex and requires highly advanced machinery and specialized equipment. For example, some steps in the process, such as photolithography, require costly and precise equipment. This makes the production of ICs costlier than other electronic components.
The design process for integrated circuits is also complex and time-consuming. Engineers must carefully consider all factors when designing an IC to ensure it functions correctly. The more complicated the design, the more expensive the component will be.
High quality standards
Integrated circuits must meet very high quality standards before they are released to the market. This means that any faulty products must be identified and thrown out, resulting in additional costs.
Finally, demand also plays a role in pricing ICs. As with all items, if there is a high demand, then the price will rise as well. This is why some integrated circuits can be so expensive.
Overall, the cost of ICs results from the complexity of the design process, the materials used in manufacturing, and the quality standards that must be met. By understanding why they are so expensive, it can help you make more informed decisions when purchasing them.
To sum up, integrated circuits (ICs) are essential components in many electronic devices. There are some ICs that come with premium features and a hefty price tag like the ones mentioned above. We hope this article has given you an insight into the most expensive integrated circuits in the market today.
They may be pricey but they can offer amazing performance for your applications. Therefore, make sure to choose an integrated circuit that fits your needs and budget before making a purchase decision.
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