The Transistor Effect

Who knew that transistors would have such a transformative power over our daily lives? We carry billions of them around in our pocket, on our wrist, in our computers. They are ubiquitous but also invisible.

Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor, established the observation that number of transistors in integrated circuits doubles about every two years. They call it Moore's law.

To reach the monumental number of transistors packed into our every day lives, engineers, scientists and visionaries had to cook up new ways to make the little devils. And they are devilishly difficult to produce in such large quanities on those very perfectly concocted slabs of purified beach sand called silicon wafers.

All from the observation that when you cross a wire over a specially doped area of silicon you get a small electronic switch. Hook those transistor switches into a logic gate, assemble those gates into CPU's and you get a revolution.

A revolution that eventually brought us to the Field Programmable Gate Array.