From transistor to memristor: Switching technologies for the future

The invention of the transistor by Bell Laboratory in 1947 ushered in an era of electronic devices that were smaller and ran cooler using far less power than their bulky and fragile vacuum tube counterparts. Transistors function as a binary switch to facilitate electrical current from off to on states. Radios, calculators and telephones were among the first wave of instruments to replace vacuum tubes with the new semiconductor technology. As the technology scaled smaller and smaller, subsequent decades saw the steady integration of silicon transistors into devices, and today’s computers, cell phones, watches, pacemakers, and virtually every kind of electronic device relies on them for high-speed processing and memory.

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