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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 November 2007, 11:30 GMT
In pictures: Transistor history

ENIAC computer

Early computers, such as the ENIAC, used vacuum tubes - similar to light bulbs - to do calculations and took several people to operate.

Shockley, Bardeen, and

Vacuum tubes were replaced by transistors - a type of electronic switch - invented by William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain at Bell Labs.

First transistor

The first working transistor was shown off just before Christmas in 1947, but was only revealed to the public six months later.

1010 and 1111 hearing aid

The first commercial product to contain a transistor was the Sonotone 1010 hearing aid, released five years after the transistor was invented.

First integrated circuit

The invention of the transistor ushered in the development of the integrated circuit,- the forerunner of today's silicon chips. The first demonstration was made by Jack Kilby in 1958.

Electronics magazine

In 1965 the Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, writing in Electronics magazine, correctly predicted that the number of transistors on a chip would double every year.

Apple I

The steady increase in power of silicon chip ushered in a new era of personal computing, with machines such as the Apple 1 being built by enthusiastic hobbyists.

Intel chip

Today's chips contain millions of transistors and are used in everything from mobile phones and computers to cars and planes.



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