BSTP: Computing

The digital revolution was carried by the development of transistors. The first triode was created in 1907 (similar to the air plane in 1903). Followed by field-effect transistor (FET) in 1925 and finally followed by today’s standard a silicon transistor in 1954.

Based on transistors a first digital computer (ENIAC) was built in 1947 and required the first compiler in 1949 to operate it efficiently. This enabled the first programming languages COBOL and FORTRAN in 1953-54.

The internet is the rise of networks of computers based on the TCP/IP protocol (1983). Text-based interaction was enabled  by the development of HTML (1990) at CERN.

Moore’s law was a marketing campaign to create parallel industries (software industries). The problem was that software development is slow (up to 3 years) so companies targeting today’s hardware would have a hard time selling. Intel postulated its growth of doubling capacity to allow software developer to develop for the future machines. Moore’s law is a corporate policy that revolutionised the software industry by setting a target.

The computing industries are globally diversified. Simplified speaking semiconductor printers are developed in Europe, semiconductors are printed in Asia and software to use the semiconductors is developed in the US.

The technology behind semiconductor productions has been an evolution with small steps taken every year since the 1950s. Currently there are only 3 companies (Intel, Samsung, TMC) are able to produce semiconductors and in the near future it might drop to 2.