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The electrical century. What difference did semiconductors and microelectronics make?

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This year, according to one historian's calculations, the transistor turns 52 years old, the integrated circuit 41 years, and the microprocessor 28. While the exact birth dates for these technologies are hotly contested by various inventors, one fact is clear: microelectronics has an undeniable significance today. The making of electronic components is a major industry worldwide, and the range of products incorporating microelectronics seems to expand every day. The transistor and its successor, the integrated circuit, were radical developments that became part of revolutionary new technologies, but it is also true that each of them emerged within the context of ongoing research and commercialization stretching back at least to the 1930's. Like so many new technologies, microelectronics extended and enhanced trends that were already well established and at the same time opened doorways to entirely new opportunities

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Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:87 ,  Issue: 6 )