ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Future was in the Transistor

Updated on March 17, 2012
The 1958 Small Wonder-Transistor radio
The 1958 Small Wonder-Transistor radio
The transistor
The transistor
The vacuum tubes
The vacuum tubes

It was revolutionary and evolutionary in the world of electronics and it would impact everything. Until its discovery in 1947, and even before it was available to the general public and consumer products, everything in electronics was glass vacuum tubes. They were everywhere-TVs, stereos, radio, amplifiers. The glass vacuum tube was the workhorse for electronic circuits and it was the mainstay until 1970.

William Shockley shocked the world of electronics in 1947, with the transistor made of germanium. It was not until 1954, that the silicon transistor was invented. It was this transistor than really would become a tidal wave in electronics. The transistor was cheap to make and tiny compared to a vacuum tube. Today, there are billions of them in a single microchip operating cell phones, computers, routers, server farms and anything electronic. Shockley would move on and began what is now known as "Silicon Valley" in San Jose, CA. He was from Palo Alto, CA (minutes away), and although his own Shockley Semiconductor failed in the 50's, he had hired two engineers who would go on in the 60's to start Fairchild Semiconductor, which became quite large at making silicone wafers from which microchips are made from. From this company, others began like: Intel and Advanced Micro Devices from the 70s today.

But, what is a transistor? It is an electronic switch, like a water faucet, to regulate the flow of electrical current in the device. It also amplifies the current. The Vacuum tube did the same thing in general but was larger, less efficient and fragile. It was in general use by 1914 or so mostly in radios.

Transistors really became known to the public via advertising for electronic goods starting in the early 1960's, but really replaced many tube devices by the late 60's. It was the Japanese that took the transistor and made it theirs. Sony was among the first to have them in consumer items like the small, portable, infamous, transistor radio. This is akin to the Walkman of the 80's, or Apple Nano. Everyone had one and they were cheap-$15. Then, the Japanese flooded the market with small reel to real tape recorders, again using transistors. When portable hair dryers first came out in the late 60's, they had transistors.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)