What tiny invention made out of sand operates the entire modern world? From toys to intercontinental rockets, it’s found in the mundane and the cutting edge. In this episode of Johan Norberg’s New and Improved, Norberg presents the story of the microchip.
The first digital computers were as big as living rooms and required piles of wire and a massive power source. With the advent of the integrated circuit, the microchip’s innovative design eliminated the need for wires, freeing them to become more powerful and compact.
As the manufacturing cost of microchips decreased, continuous innovation saw engineers doubling the number of transistors with every chip generation. Early chips were marvels for using more than two transistors. Today, an average chip may contain 76 billion.