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The cost of a microprocessor is related to its computation power and requirements for additional supporting circuits. One simple way to compare different processors is in terms of millions of instructions per dollar.
There are several ways to reduce the cost of a microprocessor. One is to design so that all the circuits on the chip work concurrently. If they work concurrently, they produce more results using the same amount of circuits.
In the chip fabrication process, a large fraction of the product fails the final quality control tests. A good design can help to increase the yield and hence to reduce the chip cost.
The equipment setup cost for chip fabrication is a big portion of the cost. Increasing the production volume can thus reduce the chip cost. A good general design that covers several application areas tends to increase the demand for the chip hence increasing the production volume.