How the Semiconductor Changed the World of Business

There are few items that have changed the world as much as the semiconductor. This material has revolutionized many areas of modern life, including the way in which businesses operate and so much so that it is hard to image how businesses managed beforehand without semiconductors.

What is a Semiconductor?

So, what exactly is a semiconductor? This is a material which has conductivity between conductors and nonconductors or insulators. They are found in microprocessor chips and transistors which makes them an integral part of anything that is electronic which, in today’s day and age, is practically everything, especially in a business setting.

Early Developments

Prior to the invention of transistors, vacuum tubes were used to amplify electrical signals but they also were not particularly reliable and generated a huge amount of heat. Looking to stabilize and strengthen the growing telephone network in the 1930s, Bell Laboratories starting looking for an alternative which led them to the use of semiconductors in 1945 due to the fact that they could act as both a conductor and insulator.

Transistors

In 1947, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain built the first working transistor which enabled them to utilize the unique nature of semiconductors which allowed them to control the flow of electrons – this became the foundation for the way that all electrical devices worked and is a development which has forever changed the world.

Integrated Circuits

The next key step was the development of integrated circuits by Jack Kilby in 1958. Previously, circuits consisted of a series of individual components but Kilby was able to build a circuit out of a single piece of semiconductor material and overlaying metal parts which allowed him to connect different bits of circuitry.

How it has Changed the World

This clever development has changed the world for the better in many different ways. This has led to computers, smartphones, electrical equipment and machinery and many other things that are heavily used in the business world. Most notable is the use of computers, smartphones and other devices which are so critical to the daily operation in practically every industry. It is hard to imagine how a company would manage and survive with the use of electrical items and integrated circuits so it has certainly changed the world.

It is incredible to think how a small chip has had such a big impact on so many areas of modern life. Modern-day businesses rely heavily on the use of electrical devices and this is possible thanks to clever and advanced developments dating back some 70 years.

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