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The incredible shrinking chip
One of the most important technologies in use today is also one of the smallest. The...
One of the most important technologies in use today is also one of the smallest. The microchip was invented in Scotland in 1947 and is now at the heart of the electronics industry. This unit uses video clips to explore how the microchip is made and how it works, and to predict the future of this incredible technology.
After studying this unit, you should be able to:
- understand the basic physics that make chips work;
- define Moore's Law.
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The incredible shrinking chip
This unit focuses on the creation of a semiconductor transistor – a versatile tiny transistor that is now at the heart of the electronics industry. In the video clips, the history of the incredible shrinking chip, its Scottish connections and an explanation of the physics that make chips work are accompanied by a reconstruction of making a transistor using the crude techniques of yesteryear.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Tuesday, 12th July 2011
Last updated on: Monday, 15th September 2014
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
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