The 4164 was quite a mythical memory chip. It contained 65535 bits of RAM memory, four times more than its predecessor, the 4116. Eight chips were thus needed to obtain 64 Kbytes of RAM. After a short period of low sales level, the famous 8 x 4164 RAM chips equipped quite every computer which featured at least 64 KB of RAM.
Texas Instruments launched the first samples of its TMS-4164 in late October 1978 at about... $170 per unit!
However T.I. was not the first company to produce such chip. Japanese companies already manufactured the same chip for a few months, and the battle for international supremacy over RAM chips and computer components started with the 4164.
First, sales of the chip were modest. About 36.000 were sold worldwide in 1978-79 but they rocketed to some 13 million units in 1980-81. The Japanese captured 70 percent of the market. Sale price went from over $100 to $25 then $5, and remained the same throughout the following years.