The 3101 SRAM was Intel's first product. At $99.50 for 64 bits, it had enough memory to store the characters
expensiv. (Sorry, the final
e costs extra.) Is there a record of any product using it?
It might be important to know that the 3101 was neither a genuine Intel development, nor intended as a RAM - at least not in a way we see RAM today. After all, what use could there be in 1970 for a RAM 30 times faster than average core but quite small, just a few words ... hmm ... what data store can be small but should be fast?
The 3101 is Intels Version of TI's 7489 (*1,*2), which in turn was developed as 'scratchpad RAM', an application today more commonly categorized as 'registers'. The 7489 was produced in several technologies (IIRC standard TTL, S and LS types) and many manufacturers (Example Signetics, Fairchild).
Similar did a large number of mini computers or computer alike machinery wherever a register file/scratchpad was needed. It was essentially everywhere.
It was kind of a sweet spot product for (new) chip manufacturers. Good demand, comparably high prices due being a high integrated one, while at the same time being simple to design and build due its regular structure. No wonder Intel added them early on.
*1 - IIRC first introduced as SN5489 in ca. 1967
*3 - It's often forgotten, but chip numbers are in the first place company specific order numbers. As such they are only valid within that companies order system, different companies use different numbering. That's why there are countless lists of interchangeable types. Using or not using a number from a competitor is a marketing decision - and even then usually only more prominent sections are 'cloned'.
*3 - Yes, four, as the Datapoint had two register sets. The 8008 implemented only one set, making room for Fagin to 'reinvent' the second set for the Z80.
The 3101 was not a product that came out of thin air. According to Intel's own sources, Honeywell Inc. had anounced they would buy 64-bit memory chips from any vendor that could supply them (so even from a then unknown newcomer like Intel). (The fact that, eventually, Honeywell did not buy from Intel, is a different story)
So, this product already had a potential customer and a strong market demand before it was even designed.
In addition, 3101 shouldn't be considered main RAM that had to be available in huge quantities. It should rather be understood the same way as fast static RAM chips that were used as cache memory in the first '386 machines - scratchpad memory of a very small size but with very fast access to off-load slower memory (like core memory).