Timeless Tuesday – The Crystalline Sliver

We take a look back at a pivotal time in history when the tiny, electronic semiconductor, dubbed “The Crystalline Sliver”, first came to be.

The year was 1948.

Bell Telephone Laboratories arranged a news conference to announce an important new invention.

“The Crystalline Sliver”

“Bell scientists and engineers expect it may have far-reaching significance in electronics and electrical communication.”

“Not much larger than a shoe-lace tip” came a tiny electronic semiconductor that revolutionised the world we live in.

They came to replace traditionally used vacuum tubes that were hot, brittle and bulky. In devices like the radio and TV – putting electronics on its path of miniaturisation and global use.

In 1956, the 3 scientists behind the discovery won a Nobel prize:

  • William Bradford Shockley
  • John Bardeen
  • Walter Houser Brattain

“For their researches on semiconductors and their discovery of the transistor effect.”

The total number of transistors in the world today, if counted, would exceed…

1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 A sextillion.