Which invention allowed computers to become smaller in size?

Which invention allowed computers to become smaller in size?

Although many inventions have made it possible to make smaller computers, the most famous invention in exams and quizzes is the invention of the transistor. The transistor replaces radio tubes and allows computers of significant size to be as small or smaller than modern desktop computers.

Computers are becoming smaller every year. It was impossible to fit a laptop with a smaller memory/capacity than the present one in an ample space. Computers were built on vacuum tubes, magnetic tapes, and punched holes.

With the introduction of transistors and other semiconductor devices became smaller and more compact with the introduction. They also store much more data and have faster speeds. VLSI, ICs, and other semiconductor devices made them more flexible while reducing their size.

Tablets are a smaller version of laptops that can be carried in one’s hand.

A new passive component, “Memristor,” has recently been introduced. This will revolutionize memory units as well as storage space and speed. Computers will be smaller in size. Virtual keyboards and screens are possible. Also, storage capacity, speed, and capabilities will increase significantly.

Identifying a single invention that can perform this transformation will be impossible. Different technologies have contributed to the development of computers at other times.


First are transistors, followed by integrated circuits that house billions of transistors within a single package. The vacuum tubes were used in the first generation computers (1940-1956). The first generation of computers used vacuum tubes in the 1940s. These tubes occupied an area of 1800 square feet in the ENIAC computer (1946). ft. (167 sq. m).

  • The first generation models of the IBM 701 series were built in 1950 and used smaller tubes. Typically, there were only about 5000. Each line could implement flip-flops using one or two transistors (the 6SN7 and 12AU7 miniature dual-triodes were common). Although the computers still occupied ample space, the peripherals such as tape drives and other devices took up most of the room. It occupied a lot of space.
  • The transistors used in second-generation computers (1956-1963) were more minor. Second-generation computers had CPUs that were as large as today’s large refrigerators. Core memory was the most significant component of these computers, often coming in separate refrigerator-sized boxes.

A dual flip-flop module (1965) from the second generation PDP-8 minicomputer. Two bits are stored using four transistors.

  • The third generation of computers (1964-1971) used smaller and medium-sized integrated circuits and were even smaller. Instead of using core, memory was implemented with solid-state RAM chips.
  • Fourth-generation computers (1971-1999) still used microprocessors. The 6502 CPU (1975), used in the Apple II, only had 3510 transistors. The Intel Core i7 Haswell-E (2014) used in many desktop computers has 2.6 billion transistors. 740,740 is the difference between the 6502 CPU (1975), which had 3510 transistors, and the Intel Core i7 Haswell-E (2014), which has 2.6 billion. Moore’s law would predict this to be: 2(2014-1975)/2 = 741,455 — almost right on the nose!

We have the Apple A12X Bionic (ARM64), a processor with 10 billion transistors. This is 2,849,003 more than the 6502. Moore’s law predicts: 2(2018-1975)/2 = 2,965,820 — once again, very close.

Extrapolating from ENIAC’s size and accounting for 6500 of its tubes being dual-triode, which is the equivalent to two transistors, it would need a building with 10,000,000 / 24,500 x 1,800 ft = 735,000,000 ft (68.255,000 sq.m) or 26.4 square miles (68.3 km) to house the vacuum tube equivalent of Apple A12X Bionic processor.

How and why was the computer invented?

Charles Babbage created the first mechanical computer, The Babbage Difference Engine, in 1822. The ABC was the foundation for today’s computer. The ABC was over 700 pounds in weight and made use of vacuum tubes. It was designed to automate mathematical calculations previously done by humans. Babbage was a philosopher, mathematician, and mechanical engineer who recognized the need for an automated system to eliminate human error in computation.

Which computer invention of made computers smaller and more efficient?

The size of the transistors was probably reduced by switching from glass vacuum tubes. It went from a large machine to just a few racks.

However, the leap from transistors into integrated circuits was similar… reducing the size to one rack mount module. However, once we reached the form factor of (say), a DEC PDP-11, they were roughly the same size and shape as a large-ish desktop computer.

At some point, smaller computers were less critical than more powerful computers. So once the computer was that big, even though the circuitry shrunk by millions of factors, we kept adding more circuitry to the same box.

The components have shrunk to a fantastic extent but aren’t apparent. This holds for laptops as well. Laptops cannot get smaller due to the keyboard’s size. I’d say “Integrated circuits” to answer both speed and size.

There are tiny computers, however. One of my favorites is the ESP-82666. This is my favorite computer I have ever programmed. The circuit board is approximately the same size as my thumbnail. It costs $1 and has WiFi.

One of these beauties has allowed me to run a website! For example, I connected it with a motor controller to drive a stepper motor that moves the “fence” on my saw table. So I can open the website of the saw table with my phone and enter the desired distance between fence and blade in inches, millimeters, or other units. A tiny device measuring just 1 millimeter in size that can be injected into the bloodstream was recently mentioned to me. It does not do much; it only measures temperature and sends out one number via ultrasound. Because it is too small to carry a battery, ultrasound powering it is also used.

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