July 01, 2015, anysilicon
The semiconductor industry was born out of innovation and it has come a long way when it comes to miniaturization, precision and cost savings. Semiconductors and chipsets today find their way into a vast number of devices ranging from computers to cell phones, medical equipment and a variety of electronics. This wasn’t always the case however and in the past many companies would work to create their own circuit boards and chipsets using much larger components and much more time consuming manufacturing methods.
While a semiconductor is not a new technology by any means, in the past few years alone we have seen great advances in the industry. The first electrical effect from a semiconductor was recorded in 1833. But it wasn’t until the year 1931 that a scientist by the name of Alan Wilson actually explained the nature of basic semiconductor properties.
In the early 1940’s we started to see the semiconductor patterns that would become today’s more modern design. Utilizing silicon and junction transistors manufacturers were able to create quality semiconductors and even solar cells. Techniques would continue to refine and throughout WWII high purity germanium and silicon crystals were used as semiconductors for radar.
The next breakthrough for silicon transistors would happen through bell labs. Texas instruments and bell labs in 1954 began building commercial devices that utilized this technology for early electronics. Soon after in 1956 Silicon valley began to get its name through the Shcokley semiconductor lab. This is where some of the first scientists and engineers began to create electronics that would make up the future of technology.
It was not till the year 1961 that silicon semiconductor technology was able to overtake performance levels from germanium but after this dedicated semiconductor electronic systems began to grow in popularity. Soon after this in 1964 micro circuits are utilized by companies like IBM as the family computer becomes a reality.
We would continue to see scaling and design pushed to the limit in semiconductor technology with the integration of microprocessors in 1971, system on chip integrated circuits in 1974 and the single chip digital single processor in 1979.
From then on, miniaturization and the need for better performance has taken semiconductors to the amazing level they have reached today. With semiconductors in production that contain hundreds of millions of logic blocks, architecture and manufacturing for these devices has reached a staggering level and shows no signs of slowing down.