History 1302 - LaCoco
Monday, May 9, 2011
Gordon E. Moore, co-founder of Intel, noted in 1965 that the power of integrated circuits doubles every two years. This, known as Moore’s Law, is the basis for what I believe to have had the most profound impact on American History. Without integrated circuits, culture changing devices such as the iPhone would not be possible. These circuits were created in 1958 by Jack Kilby, inventor of the hand-held calculator and employee of Texas Instruments. By having all the necessary components made out of the same material on the same chip, integrated circuits make electrical devices smaller, faster, and smarter. This has greatly impacted the entire world, especially in America, where technology is imperative to our every day lives. Not only does it impact us now, but it has affected us for over fifty years. The first forms of integrated circuits, called “small-scale integration” circuits, were crucial to aerospace projects. The decision for the Apollo Guidance Computer in the Apollo program to use integrated circuits was critical to the NASA computer’s success. The program bought so many circuits that NASA’s Apollo Program was “the largest single consumer of integrated circuits between 1961 and 1965.” The nation’s space association was not the only customer of these innovative chips. One of the major new features provided by the U.S. Military’s Minuteman-II nuclear missile was an improved guidance system, incorporating semiconductor integrated circuits and miniaturized discrete electronic parts. The Navy also took part in the revolution’s beginning. Their Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye used integrated circuits in radar and radio communications to upgrade the aircraft’s performance. By the end of the decade, a new generation of chips was born. In the late 1960s, devices which contained hundreds of transistors on each chip, were called...