Here are a few sites on the impact of the silicon chip on the world:http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inven ... ircuit.htmhttp://www.ti.com/corp/docs/kilbyctr/jackbuilt.shtmlhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moore's_lawhttp://www.authorstream.com/Presentatio ... owerpoint/
Here are a few thoughts from my own perspective:
About 1954 my father came home from work one day to say he had been present to see an IBM 7094 computer execute a program for a job he needed done at work.. This computer filled a large room, used vacuum tubes that generated so much heat they required the rooms to be airconditioned even in the dead of winter, and broke down about once an hour because a vacuum tube burned out.
About 1966 I was working on a PhD at UC Berkeley when my research group bought a Digital Equipment Corporation PDP 8S, a small transistor based computer with 4096 8bit words of core memory and a 10 character per second teletype paper tape reader, no disk memory, which had to be fan cooled continuously to avoid failure. It had to be programmed by either keying in programs as 8 bit binary words from the front panel, or compiling programs in machine code from punched paper tape. I fell in love with it.
By 1975 I went to work for Spectra Physics, building a dedicated microcomputer based on an Intel microprocessor chip that had been designed for use in four function handheld calculators. Within a couple of years we built another dedicated microcomputer using an Intel 8088, an 8 bit microprocessor with about 8K of RAM and 16K or ROM, still programmed in assembly language. By the mid 1980s we started to build our products on IBM microcomputers, programming them in C, later C++, using initially 64K of RAM, later up to a megabyte of RAM, and disk memory. By the time I retired the use of dedicated microcomputers systems for the applications we served had become quite obsolete and could probably not be purchased. From about 1970 to 1990s the selling price of the products we produced stayed roughly the same or declined, while the computing speed and capability incrased more than 1,000,000 times. By today the $200 iPhone that you can hold in one hand has many orders of magnitude more computing power than the room sized computer costing hundreds of thousands of dollars that my father used. Today almost all cars and airplanes use multiple computers that are so reliable they will probably not fail in the useful life of the product in which they are used (years), where in 1950 the car or plane could probably not have physically contained a (very unreliable) computer of adequate capability to do the task of the microcomputer of today. This is all due to advances in the design of silicon chips.
I hope this helps for what you need.
Barrett L Tomlinson