Transistors, Gates, and Circuits
- A transistor is an electronic "switch" that can be set to either "on" (representing 1) or "off" (representing 0).
- Today's "microprocessor revolution" was made possible by the (1956 Nobel prize-winning) invention of the transistor.
- Today, transistors are extremely small 1cm2 (and even smaller when etched on a chip) and fast (switch speed of nanoseconds).
- Other "bistable" (i.e., two-state) devices have been used in the past: relays, vacuum tubes, magnetic cores.
- Question: What might we use in the future?
The three inventors of the transistor:
William Bradford Shockley
Walter H. Brattain
CS1104 Main Page
Last Updated 01/05/2000
© L.Heath, 2000