I see your point, but I don't think that can be the whole story.
James, you misunderstand me. This is a purely technical question motivated by curiosity about the inner workings of microprocessors. I'm not saying Atmel should upgrade their 8-bit chips; I'm wondering why a modern chip doesn't "just work" at higher clock rates, irrespective of demand or application.In 1975 when the 6502 was designed, transistors were big and slow. Result: a processor which ran at 1 or 2 MHz.In 1996 when the first AVR was designed, logic transistors were capable of 200MHz. But AVRs do not run at this speed. Why not? It could be due to memory speeds, it could be for improved reliability, it could be for compatibility with the numerous on-board peripherals a micro-controller needs, it could be that slow transistors are better in some other way, or it could be something else entirely. I thought the answer might be interesting, and that somebody here might know.
James, you misunderstand me. This is a purely technical question motivated by curiosity about the inner workings of microprocessors.