The Microchip: History And Making Essay

2468 words - 10 pages

Silicon is a metalloid and has the atomic number of 14 on the periodic table of elements. It is one of the most abundant elements in the universe, and usually is contained in dirt, soil, sand, and it makes up of about 27.7% of the Earth’s mass (Abundances of the Elements in the Earth's Crust, , Hyperphysics, Georgia State Univ.). One of the special features of silicon is that it is a semiconductor. This means that under certain circumstances, silicon will conduct electricity. Scientists have harnessed this special characteristic of silicon and invented the microchip.

The creation of the microchip dates back to the late 1950s, when two separate American engineers developed their own microchips. Both their goals were to make a transistor smaller and use less power, but in the same time, accommodate more transistors onto one surface to increase the performance of transistors. Despite their separate backgrounds, their microchips were essentially identical in terms of the components. Both were built on very thin wafers of semiconductor materials, and both laid small “paths” of metal onto the semiconductor material. This meant that they were able to integrate a whole network onto a very small surface. The influence of the creation of the microchip had great influences around the world in many different aspects of society.

After inventing the microchip in 1958, Robert Noyce founded the Intel Corporation alongside Gordon E. Moore ten years later.

Today, based in the US, intel is the largest semi-conductor microchip manufacturer in the world and employs over 80 thousand workers worldwide. Being one of the listed stocks on the NASDAQ market, it recently generated around 11.4 billion US dollars worth of net income in 2010 (Wikipedia, 2011). As a result, intel owns 13.2% of the market of the industry today, making it a substantial economical asset to the US (Wikipedia, 2011). The birth of the microchip did not only bring intel to the world, but a whole industry. Companies of the microchip industry include Samsung, Toshiba, Texas Instruments and much more, which are all leading economical sources of their countries. Today, the microchip industry did not only create an economical stronghold for countries, but also opened up a whole new political spectrum.

Around the world, developing technology to new heights is seen as a strong indication of a country with great power and influence. The reason behind this being that technology can be developed to make our lives easier, happier, more efficient, and countries, more powerful and competitive. Politics can never be separated from economy, and development to one, would result in the development of the other. This is what people like, and is why political organizations introduce programs to develop the industry. In the US, President Obama named the microchip industry a new way that would promote economic growth and bring jobs to the US. He said that the long term goals of...

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