Optical Lasers in a $100 Cable. Really

As homes go high definition, copper will give way to active optical cables

3 min read
Optical Lasers in a $100 Cable. Really

This article was corrected on 8 January 2010.

Visitors to this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas will surely be stunned by the lush colors and sounds of high-definition movies as displayed on today’s screens. What they’ll likely overlook is the technology that makes the new HD world possible, one that aims to replace the old paradigm of electrons over copper wire.

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The Ultimate Transistor Timeline

The transistor’s amazing evolution from point contacts to quantum tunnels

1 min read
A chart showing the timeline of when a transistor was invented and when it was commercialized.
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Even as the initial sales receipts for the first transistors to hit the market were being tallied up in 1948, the next generation of transistors had already been invented (see “The First Transistor and How it Worked.”) Since then, engineers have reinvented the transistor over and over again, raiding condensed-matter physics for anything that might offer even the possibility of turning a small signal into a larger one.

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