Yes. I wonder about the minimum infrastructure needed to create computing hardware comparable to modern ICs.
There exist lots of off-the-shelf programmable ICs, from single-board microcontrollers to FPGAs.Why would you need to print your own custom ICs?
Because you can’t create ICs yourself? You know a clockmaker (mechanical clocks) can create his own tools and working mechanical clocks in the farthest backwaters with only steel rods and his suitcase of tools (not very large; I have seen one). I admit that creating refined steel requires some more sizable—but nothing technologically advanced.
The same cannot be said about any part of modern electronics. Sure. You can print your case yourself. Sure, you can layout your board yourself. But you still depend on extremely highly integrated ICs and/or FPGAs. This means that if civilization collapses it falls down to mechanical tools—because those can be created locally with ‘minimum’ tools (at least where this knowhow was left). If not for the ICs we could have the same for electronics. Thus this could reduce an Xrisk.
Ah ok, I hadn’t understood the context of your question.
Producing 10000 units of a computer chip usually isn’t 10000x times as expensive as producing 1 unit. There are huge first unit hardware costs.
Of corse. But if you know the minimum infrastructure and its price you can choose intermediates.