Chapter

The Computer Industry

Vernon W. Ruttan

in Is War Necessary for Economic Growth?

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195188042
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199783410 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195188047.003.0005
 The Computer Industry

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The first all-purpose digital computer, completed in 1946, was developed by John W. Mauchly and J. Prosper Eckert, and associates at the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore School of Electrical Engineering, with funding from the U.S. Army Ballistic Research Laboratory. The first working transistor emerged from the solid state research program at Bell Laboratories led by William Schokley, John Bardeen, and Walter Brattain. The transition between initial development of the transistor and the subsequent development of military and commercial application in the 1950s were substantially funded by the Army Signal Corps. Intensification of the Cold War in the early 1950s provided the impetus for IBM to develop a fully transistorized computer for commercial use. Development of the integrated circuit at Texas Instruments in the late 1950s and of the microprocessor at Intel in the late 1960s set the stage for the development of both modern supercomputers and the personal computer.

Keywords: digital computer; transistor; integrated circuit; microprocessor; supercomputer; personal computer; software

Chapter.  9917 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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