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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Happy 60th Birthday to the Transistor!

And what a momentous invention it has been:
The invention of the transistor-based logic engine, the integrated circuit, turned 60 this year. Today, humanity fabricates 1,000 times more transistors annually than the entire world grows grains of wheat and rice combined. Collectively, all those transistors consume more electricity than the state of California. The rise of transistors as “engines of innovation” emerged from Moore’s Law. And we’re still in its early days: paraphrasing Mark Twain, recent reports of the death of that Law are greatly exaggerated.


erp said...

Happy Birthday to the Transistor, a trans with a positive agenda. :-)

Totally off/topic: Musk is building a stainless steel rocket. The article is very breezy about it, and Musk explains that he's solved the problems early steel rockets had, but no mention is made of steel's magnetic properties?

Considering the rockets will be sent into uncharted territory, it seems like asking for trouble?


Bret said...

He's using 301 stainless steel which is usually non-magnetic.

erp said...

You think he knows more about rockets than electric cars?

Bret said...

I don't know the extent of his technical knowledge on either subject.

To me, it looks like Musk's expertise (and he's brilliant at it) is pulling together vast resources (both human and all sorts of capital and government strings and ...) to attempt and have impressive levels of success at enormous projects.

So I have know idea what "he" personally knows. However, I'm confident that members of the team he's assembled know a tremendous amount about rockets. But the members of the team he's assembled that design and build electric cars know a tremendous amount about that. I don't whether he personally knows more about one than the other, nor is it possible for me to tell which team has the edge in their respective field of expertise.