The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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30 November 2010—South Korea dominates two important global technology industries: memory chips and flat-panel displays. The deadly artillery battle on South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island last week has put the peninsula in its most tense state in decades. But it remains to be seen if that tension will have a negative effect on its technology sector, or if competing companies in other countries can turn the uncertainty to their advantage.

Together, South Korean companies Samsung Electronics and Hynix Semiconductor have more than a 60 percent share of the dynamic RAM market, according to the market research firm iSuppli, in El Segundo, Calif. Any disruption in their ability to produce and deliver DRAM would have a huge impact on the electronics industry, says Mike Howard, a senior analyst at iSuppli. DRAM is critical to making smartphones, televisions, computers, and tablets.

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The Transistor at 75

The past, present, and future of the modern world’s most important invention

2 min read
A photo of a birthday cake with 75 written on it.
Lisa Sheehan

Seventy-five years is a long time. It’s so long that most of us don’t remember a time before the transistor, and long enough for many engineers to have devoted entire careers to its use and development. In honor of this most important of technological achievements, this issue’s package of articles explores the transistor’s historical journey and potential future.

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