Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now : GMAT Critical Reasoning (CR)
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# Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now

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Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now [#permalink]

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25 Jan 2010, 14:59
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Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now regularly contain millions of electronic switches. Unfortunately, electronic switches that are this small cannot withstand intense radiation. Micro-Mechanics plans to produce a chip that, because it uses only microscopic mechanical switches, will be invulnerable to radiation damage. The switches will, however, be slower than electronic switches and the chip will contain only 12,000 switches.

For there to be a market for Micro-Mechanics’ chip as a result of the apparent advantage described above, each of the following would have to be true EXCEPT:

A. There will be applications in which the speed attainable by an electronic switch is not essential.

B. Switches used on electronic chips that contain only 12,000 switches are more vulnerable to radiation damage than the switches on Micro-Mechanics’ chip will be.

C. There will be applications for computer chips in environments where the chips may have to survive intense radiation.

D. Some devices in which computer chips will be used will have other components that will be able to function during or after exposure to radiation.

E. Manufacturers are able to protect electronic computer chips against exposure to intense radiation, where this protection is necessary.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
oa is E and can someone explain why not D?

is this weaken question or question about choosing the one that does not strength?
Thanks.
[Reveal] Spoiler: OA

Last edited by JarvisR on 05 Apr 2016, 22:25, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now [#permalink]

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25 Jan 2010, 16:02
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The question is which point will weaken the argument.
B and C can be completely eliminated as they are trying to strengthen the argument. They are advantage to the Micro-Mechanics chip.

Now between A, D and E, point E strongly will be a disadvantage for the Micro-Mechanics chip. If the manufacturers are able to provide the protection against the intense radiation, there will be no need for Micro-mechanics chip. Hence E.

Now why not D - D says some components in computer will be able to survive against the exposure of radiation. What about the other components? If all the components were able to survive against the radiation, then it would have been an apparent advantage for Electronic chips.

Hence answer is not D, but E.
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Re: Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now [#permalink]

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27 Jan 2010, 01:29
lys8207 wrote:
Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now regularly contain millions of electronic switches. Unfortunately, electronic switches that are this small cannot withstand intense radiation. Micro-Mechanics plans to produce a chip that, because it uses only microscopic mechanical switches, will be invulnerable to radiation damage. The switches will, however, be slower than electronic switches and the chip will contain only 12,000 switches.

For there to be a market for Micro-Mechanics’ chip as a result of the apparent advantage described above, each of the following would have to be true EXCEPT:

A. There will be applications in which the speed attainable by an electronic switch is not essential.

B. Switches used on electronic chips that contain only 12,000 switches are more vulnerable to radiation damage than the switches on Micro-Mechanics’ chip will be.

C. There will be applications for computer chips in environments where the chips may have to survive intense radiation.

D. Some devices in which computer chips will be used will have other
components that will be able to function during or after exposure to radiation.

E. Manufacturers are able to protect electronic computer chips against exposure to intense radiation, where this protection is necessary.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
oa is E and can someone explain why not D?

is this weaken question or question about choosing the one that does not strength?
Thanks.

Electronic chip: contains million of electronic switches,cannot stand intense radiation.
New chip(Micro-Mechanics’ chip): slower, contain only 12,000 (microscopic mechanical )switches, more invulnerable to radiation.

Rephrase the Q.: what is the asssumption for the new chip to be sucessful,EXCEPT.

In A, negate the choice, If the slowness is important factor for purchase--> noone buy.
In B, simply said that microscopic mechanical switch is more invulnerable that Elec switch (holding the quantity(12,000) the same)-> must be true to be sucessful.
In C, must hold true. It is the objective of inventing the new chip. If it is not held true, no need to invent then and wont be sucessful.
In D, negate the choice. If D is not hold, then the new chip wont work anyway because of other obstacle (other devices). Then, the new chip wont be successful.
No need to hold E, since the new chip is made to be invulnerable to the intense radiation.

My ans is E
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Re: Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now [#permalink]

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10 Jun 2011, 21:49
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Re: Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now [#permalink]

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13 Jun 2011, 02:16
clean E here,which actually weakens the conclusion.
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Re: Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now [#permalink]

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13 Jun 2011, 04:33
This is wrong. there could be other devices which do not satisfy the below statement...

D. Some devices in which computer chips will be used will have other
components that will be able to function during or after exposure to radiation.
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Re: Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now [#permalink]

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05 Mar 2013, 07:10
amp0201 wrote:
The question is which point will weaken the argument.
B and C can be completely eliminated as they are trying to strengthen the argument. They are advantage to the Micro-Mechanics chip.

Now between A, D and E, point E strongly will be a disadvantage for the Micro-Mechanics chip. If the manufacturers are able to provide the protection against the intense radiation, there will be no need for Micro-mechanics chip. Hence E.

Now why not D - D says some components in computer will be able to survive against the exposure of radiation. What about the other components? If all the components were able to survive against the radiation, then it would have been an apparent advantage for Electronic chips.

Hence answer is not D, but E.

Does the Gmat CR test answer choices in such cases that do NOTHING to do argument (no affect-doesn't strengthen or weaken it)? I ask because the LSAT considers such choices legitimate. WHat is the likelihood of that on that GMAT? I doubt it's very high

Still can't believe I got this in the OG. This would be considered a hard LSAT LR question
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Re: Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now [#permalink]

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05 Mar 2013, 18:22
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lys8207 wrote:
Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now regularly contain millions of electronic switches. Unfortunately, electronic switches that are this small cannot withstand intense radiation. Micro-Mechanics plans to produce a chip that, because it uses only microscopic mechanical switches, will be invulnerable to radiation damage. The switches will, however, be slower than electronic switches and the chip will contain only 12,000 switches.

For there to be a market for Micro-Mechanics’ chip as a result of the apparent advantage described above, each of the following would have to be true EXCEPT:

A. There will be applications in which the speed attainable by an electronic switch is not essential.

B. Switches used on electronic chips that contain only 12,000 switches are more vulnerable to radiation damage than the switches on Micro-Mechanics’ chip will be.

C. There will be applications for computer chips in environments where the chips may have to survive intense radiation.

D. Some devices in which computer chips will be used will have other
components that will be able to function during or after exposure to radiation.

E. Manufacturers are able to protect electronic computer chips against exposure to intense radiation, where this protection is necessary.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
oa is E and can someone explain why not D?

is this weaken question or question about choosing the one that does not strength?
Thanks.

Hi,

I see some great attempts above on the explanations for different answer choices. However, I think we need a better understanding of this question. This is one of those Official questions, which defy any categorization and thus tries to challenge the real understanding of the basic concepts.

Let's begin with the passage.

Understanding the Passage:

1. Electronic computer chips now regularly contain millions of electronic switches.
2. Electronic switches that are this small cannot withstand intense radiation.
3. Microscopic mechanical switches, still to be introduced, will be invulnerable to radiation damage.
4. The MM (Micro Mechanical) switches will, however, be slower than electronic switches
5. The MM chip will contain only 12,000 switches (as compared to millions of electronic switches)

So, we have one advantage of MM switches over electronic switches: MM switches are invulnerable to radiation unlike electronic switches
Also, we have one disadvatange of MM switches over electronic switches: MM switches are slower than electronic switches
In addition, there is one more different between the two: There can be millions of electronic switches on a chip whereas there can only be 12000 mechanical switches on a chip.

Now, let's understand the question stem:

Understanding the Question Stem:

For there to be a market for Micro-Mechanics’ chip as a result of the apparent advantage described above, each of the following would have to be true EXCEPT:

It means we have to find an option statement which does not have to be true for there to be a market for Micro-mechanics chip. So, this is a question where we should expect four strengtheners and one non-strengthener (A non-strengthener may have no impact on the conclusion or it may weaken the conclusion).

Since this an "EXCEPT" question type where we expect to find four strengtheners, there is no point prethinking the correct answer choice (The correct answer choice will either have no impact or weaken the conclusion). Let's directly look at the option statements:

Analysis of Option Statements:

A. There will be applications in which the speed attainable by an electronic switch is not essential. - This option takes care of the disadvantage of MM switches. This option statement basically says that we can have speeds slower than attained by electronic switches - this opens up the possibility of the market for MM switches, which have slower speeds than electronic switches. This is a VALID STRENGTHENER.

B. Switches used on electronic chips that contain only 12,000 switches are more vulnerable to radiation damage than the switches on Micro-Mechanics’ chip will be. - This option statement tries to make a like-comparison between chips based on electronic switches and chips based on MM switches. Since MM switches can have only 12000 MM switches, it makes a comparison between MM chips and electronic chips with 12000 switches and says that MM chips have an advantage there due to their radiation-resistance. This is a VALID STRENGTHENER.

C. There will be applications for computer chips in environments where the chips may have to survive intense radiation. - This says that there are applications where intense radiations need to be survived through. We are given that MM switches do much better job in such situations than electronic switches. Therefore, this option also strengthens that there will exist a market for MM chips or switches. This is a VALID STRENGTHENER.

D. Some devices in which computer chips will be used will have other components that will be able to function during or after exposure to radiation. - This is actually a necessary condition for there to be a market for MM chips. Wondering why? The reason is that if there is no device whose components can work after exposure to radiation, then even if we replace electronic switches with MM switches, the device will not work (because other components are not working). In such a case, the market for MM switches will not exist. Therefore, this statement is not only a strengthener but also a necessary condition (or an assumption).

E. Manufacturers are able to protect electronic computer chips against exposure to intense radiation, where this protection is necessary. - This means that the only advantage MM switches had over electronic switches is not an advantage actually because manufacturers can protect electronic switches, wherever necessary. This statement actually weakens the statement that there will be a market for MM chips. This statement is a WEAKENER. Therefore , CORRECT.

Some of us may have doubts whether the correct choice must be weakener with the given question stem. The answer is No. It may have been some arbitrary statement which does not impact the conclusion. However, GMAT generally plays safe in many scenarios - In this case also, by providing a weakener, it makes sure that there are no doubts about the correct answer choice.

Hope this helps

Thanks,
Chiranjeev
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Re: Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2013, 08:05
e-gmat that was an excellent response!

I have a few questions though. What if the question stem read each of the following would be false except (this is acceptable on the lsat)
how would negating the answer choices as you did with D change what we're looking for? Would we be looking for a strengtherner instead?

Another question I would ask is what are some modifiers and their negations? For the following

ALL X
SOME X
NONE X
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Re: Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2013, 10:02
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manimgoindowndown wrote:
e-gmat that was an excellent response!

I have a few questions though. What if the question stem read each of the following would be false except (this is acceptable on the lsat)
how would negating the answer choices as you did with D change what we're looking for? Would we be looking for a strengtherner instead?

Another question I would ask is what are some modifiers and their negations? For the following

ALL X
SOME X
NONE X

Hi,

Thanks for the compliment.

If the question stem had asked that "Each of the following would have to be false EXCEPT", then I would expect 4 weakeners and 1 non-weakener.

Just like in the case non-strengthener, a non-weakener can either strengthen the conclusion or have no impact. So, in such a question, you should not compulsorily look for a strengthener, a random statement having no impact on the conclusion would be a valid answer choice.

Negation of All X
- Not All X
- Atleast one not X
- Some not X

Negation of Some X
- No X
- X does not exist
- Not even a single X

Negation of None X
- At least one X
- Some X

Negation and Negation test is covered in detail in e-GMAT "Assumption" Concept. Even though this concept is not part of the free trial, there are a good number of concepts as part of free trial, both in CR and SC. You can register for free at http://www.e-gmat.com

Thanks
Chiranjeev
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Re: Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2013, 10:10
manimgoindowndown wrote:
e-gmat that was an excellent response!

I have a few questions though. What if the question stem read each of the following would be false except (this is acceptable on the lsat)
how would negating the answer choices as you did with D change what we're looking for? Would we be looking for a strengtherner instead?

Another question I would ask is what are some modifiers and their negations? For the following

ALL X
SOME X
NONE X

By the way, here's an article on negation. I forgot to mention in the last post:

article-what-and-how-to-negate-4-exercise-questions-138510.html

Thanks
Chiranjeev
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Re: Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now [#permalink]

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17 Apr 2014, 05:10
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Re: Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now [#permalink]

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26 May 2014, 14:06
Can you please explain what is meant by 'would have to be true'...I took this for 'must be true' and had many contenders...
The answer suits better only if we say..each of the following if true will show the need of mechanical switches except
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Re: Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now [#permalink]

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26 May 2014, 23:49
I also think the answer be 'E'.

Thanks e-gmat for explaining.
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Re: Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now [#permalink]

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27 May 2014, 09:42
JusTLucK04 wrote:
Can you please explain what is meant by 'would have to be true'...I took this for 'must be true' and had many contenders...
The answer suits better only if we say..each of the following if true will show the need of mechanical switches except

Dear JusTLucK04,
I received your p.m. and am happy to respond.

The structure "X has to be true" is identical in meaning to "[b]X must be true[/b]." The structure "would have to be true" puts this into the hypothetical realm. We don't know whether the mechanical switches will have a market, but in the hypothetical scenario in which they did have a market, what are those conditions that would be absolutely necessary in order to bring about that very scenario? This is essentially a "must be true except" question; it's just that the scenario about which they are talking, the scenario of the mechanical chips finding a market, hasn't happened yet and is not guaranteed to happen, so we must discuss everything about that scenario hypothetically.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now [#permalink]

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27 May 2014, 12:38
mikemcgarry wrote:
JusTLucK04 wrote:
Can you please explain what is meant by 'would have to be true'...I took this for 'must be true' and had many contenders...
The answer suits better only if we say..each of the following if true will show the need of mechanical switches except

Dear JusTLucK04,
I received your p.m. and am happy to respond.

The structure "X has to be true" is identical in meaning to "[b]X must be true[/b]." The structure "would have to be true" puts this into the hypothetical realm. We don't know whether the mechanical switches will have a market, but in the hypothetical scenario in which they did have a market, what are those conditions that would be absolutely necessary in order to bring about that very scenario? This is essentially a "must be true except" question; it's just that the scenario about which they are talking, the scenario of the mechanical chips finding a market, hasn't happened yet and is not guaranteed to happen, so we must discuss everything about that scenario hypothetically.

Does all this make sense?
Mike

If it is so..Isn't D bit of a stretch..How should we know that to function properly these chips require some other working components in the instrument too
Is it a necessary condition?..COnfused Between D & E..but E is any day a better option..Still this is a Gmat prep question
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Re: Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now [#permalink]

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27 May 2014, 13:34
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JusTLucK04 wrote:
If it is so..Isn't D bit of a stretch..How should we know that to function properly these chips require some other working components in the instrument too
Is it a necessary condition?..COnfused Between D & E..but E is any day a better option..Still this is a Gmat prep question

Dear JusTLucK04,
I'm happy to respond. Are you familiar with the Negation Test for Assumption questions? See:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2013/assumption ... -the-gmat/
We can use something very similar here.

The possible scenario: there is a market for Micro-Mechanics’ chips with microscopic mechanical switches.

If an answer MUST be true for this scenario to work, then when we take the negation of it, that would make the scenario impossible in some way -- it would be an objection or a weakener with respect to the scenario.

Here's the prompt:
Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now regularly contain millions of electronic switches. Unfortunately, electronic switches that are this small cannot withstand intense radiation. Micro-Mechanics plans to produce a chip that, because it uses only microscopic mechanical switches, will be invulnerable to radiation damage. The switches will, however, be slower than electronic switches and the chip will contain only 12,000 switches.

For there to be a market for Micro-Mechanics’ chip as a result of the apparent advantage described above, each of the following would have to be true EXCEPT:

Now, let's consider negations of these two choices.
D. Some devices in which computer chips will be used will have other components that will be able to function during or after exposure to radiation.
NEGATION = All devices in which computer chips will be used will have other components that absolutely cannot function during or after exposure to radiation.
Well, if these devices are going to fail when they are exposed to radiation, because all the other components fail, then it wouldn't matter at all whether the chips were still working. Therefore, why would anyone be willing to buy radiation-proof chips to put them into devices that definitely will fail when exposed to radiation? That would be completely pointless. If we negate this, it absolutely destroys the scenario --- the scenario is simple not possible.

Remember the opposite of "some" is "none", and the opposite of "some ... not" is "all".

E. Manufacturers are able to protect electronic computer chips against exposure to intense radiation, where this protection is necessary.
This one is interesting, because if this is true, then it would weaken the scenario. If manufacturers can protect the electronic chips from radiation, then that eliminates the risk of radiation. In that case, there would absolutely no reason to buy chips that could still function after exposure to radiation, because the entire problem of exposure to radiation had already been solve. Now, let's negate this:
NEGATION = Manufacturers are not able to protect electronic computer chips against exposure to intense radiation, even where this protection is necessary.
Well, if manufacturers cannot provide this protection, then exposure to radiation is a BIG problem, and Micro-Mechanics’ chips with microscopic mechanical switches would provide a huge solution for this BIG problem. Thus, there would be a gigantic market for them.

For the one's that genuinely must be true, the negation constitutes an objection or weakener to the scenario, but the last one, (E), is completely the opposite. Answer (E), in its original form, is a weakener, while its negation would strengthen the scenario.

That's why (E) is the best answer. It's the only one that doesn't have to be true --- in fact, if it's negation is true, that would be considerably more helpful to the scenario.

Does all this make sense?
Mike
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Re: Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now [#permalink]

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14 Sep 2016, 06:57
Thanks for the detailed solution

egmat wrote:
lys8207 wrote:
Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now regularly contain millions of electronic switches. Unfortunately, electronic switches that are this small cannot withstand intense radiation. Micro-Mechanics plans to produce a chip that, because it uses only microscopic mechanical switches, will be invulnerable to radiation damage. The switches will, however, be slower than electronic switches and the chip will contain only 12,000 switches.

For there to be a market for Micro-Mechanics’ chip as a result of the apparent advantage described above, each of the following would have to be true EXCEPT:

A. There will be applications in which the speed attainable by an electronic switch is not essential.

B. Switches used on electronic chips that contain only 12,000 switches are more vulnerable to radiation damage than the switches on Micro-Mechanics’ chip will be.

C. There will be applications for computer chips in environments where the chips may have to survive intense radiation.

D. Some devices in which computer chips will be used will have other
components that will be able to function during or after exposure to radiation.

E. Manufacturers are able to protect electronic computer chips against exposure to intense radiation, where this protection is necessary.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
oa is E and can someone explain why not D?

is this weaken question or question about choosing the one that does not strength?
Thanks.

Hi,

I see some great attempts above on the explanations for different answer choices. However, I think we need a better understanding of this question. This is one of those Official questions, which defy any categorization and thus tries to challenge the real understanding of the basic concepts.

Let's begin with the passage.

Understanding the Passage:

1. Electronic computer chips now regularly contain millions of electronic switches.
2. Electronic switches that are this small cannot withstand intense radiation.
3. Microscopic mechanical switches, still to be introduced, will be invulnerable to radiation damage.
4. The MM (Micro Mechanical) switches will, however, be slower than electronic switches
5. The MM chip will contain only 12,000 switches (as compared to millions of electronic switches)

So, we have one advantage of MM switches over electronic switches: MM switches are invulnerable to radiation unlike electronic switches
Also, we have one disadvatange of MM switches over electronic switches: MM switches are slower than electronic switches
In addition, there is one more different between the two: There can be millions of electronic switches on a chip whereas there can only be 12000 mechanical switches on a chip.

Now, let's understand the question stem:

Understanding the Question Stem:

For there to be a market for Micro-Mechanics’ chip as a result of the apparent advantage described above, each of the following would have to be true EXCEPT:

It means we have to find an option statement which does not have to be true for there to be a market for Micro-mechanics chip. So, this is a question where we should expect four strengtheners and one non-strengthener (A non-strengthener may have no impact on the conclusion or it may weaken the conclusion).

Since this an "EXCEPT" question type where we expect to find four strengtheners, there is no point prethinking the correct answer choice (The correct answer choice will either have no impact or weaken the conclusion). Let's directly look at the option statements:

Analysis of Option Statements:

A. There will be applications in which the speed attainable by an electronic switch is not essential. - This option takes care of the disadvantage of MM switches. This option statement basically says that we can have speeds slower than attained by electronic switches - this opens up the possibility of the market for MM switches, which have slower speeds than electronic switches. This is a VALID STRENGTHENER.

B. Switches used on electronic chips that contain only 12,000 switches are more vulnerable to radiation damage than the switches on Micro-Mechanics’ chip will be. - This option statement tries to make a like-comparison between chips based on electronic switches and chips based on MM switches. Since MM switches can have only 12000 MM switches, it makes a comparison between MM chips and electronic chips with 12000 switches and says that MM chips have an advantage there due to their radiation-resistance. This is a VALID STRENGTHENER.

C. There will be applications for computer chips in environments where the chips may have to survive intense radiation. - This says that there are applications where intense radiations need to be survived through. We are given that MM switches do much better job in such situations than electronic switches. Therefore, this option also strengthens that there will exist a market for MM chips or switches. This is a VALID STRENGTHENER.

D. Some devices in which computer chips will be used will have other components that will be able to function during or after exposure to radiation. - This is actually a necessary condition for there to be a market for MM chips. Wondering why? The reason is that if there is no device whose components can work after exposure to radiation, then even if we replace electronic switches with MM switches, the device will not work (because other components are not working). In such a case, the market for MM switches will not exist. Therefore, this statement is not only a strengthener but also a necessary condition (or an assumption).

E. Manufacturers are able to protect electronic computer chips against exposure to intense radiation, where this protection is necessary. - This means that the only advantage MM switches had over electronic switches is not an advantage actually because manufacturers can protect electronic switches, wherever necessary. This statement actually weakens the statement that there will be a market for MM chips. This statement is a WEAKENER. Therefore , CORRECT.

Some of us may have doubts whether the correct choice must be weakener with the given question stem. The answer is No. It may have been some arbitrary statement which does not impact the conclusion. However, GMAT generally plays safe in many scenarios - In this case also, by providing a weakener, it makes sure that there are no doubts about the correct answer choice.

Hope this helps

Thanks,
Chiranjeev
Re: Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now   [#permalink] 14 Sep 2016, 06:57

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# Electronic computer chips made of tiny silicon wafers now

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