The Silicon Engine

A Timeline of Semiconductors in Computers

Photo credits: Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corporation, Intel Corporation, Nvidia Corporation, AMD, Apple, Inc.
Moore’s Law "Transistor density on integrated circuits doubles about every two years."Source: "Moore’s Law: Raising the Bar" (Intel Corporation 2005)

Microelectronic silicon computer "chips" have grown in capability from a single transistor in the 1950s to billions of transistors per chip on today's microprocessor and memory devices. From the first documented semiconductor effect in 1833 to the transition from transistors to integrated circuits in the 1960s and 70s, this website explores key milestones in the development of these extraordinary engines that power the computing and communications revolution of the information age.