Facts about Transistors

The transistor was invented in December 1947 at Bell Labs by John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley. Read on to know more about transistors.

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Source: PRO AV Magazine
Publication date: February 1, 2008

By ProAV Staff

  • The transistor was invented in December 1947 at Bell Labs by John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley.
  • Bardeen, Brattain, and Shockley won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1956 for inventing the transistor.
  • The word transistor is a combination of “transconductance” (transfer of a charge) and “variable resistor” or “varistor.”
  • Early transistors were used to amplify audio signals.
  • The first commercial device to use the transistor was the Sonotone 1010 hearing aid.
  • The first transistor radio went on the market in 1954 and had only four transistors.
  • Gordon Moore, cofounder of Intel, predicted that the number of transistors on a chip would double about every two years. This is known as Moore's Law.
  • A transistor is like a miniature on-off switch that allows a computer to process information.
  • A computer can't operate without an integrated circuit (chip), and a chip can't operate without a transistor.
  • Transistors have shrunk in size with a factor of 222 since the first Intel 4004 chip was introduced in 1971.
  • The first Intel computer chip had 2,300 transistors, while the latest one has 820 million.

SOURCE: INTEL CORP.

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