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The techniques of designing and making electronic circuits of very small size. As a result of these techniques a single silicon chip measuring less than a centimetre in either direction can contain many thousands of transistors and may constitute the central processing unit of a microcomputer. In addition to an enormous drop in size, compared to an equivalent valve-operated device, these microelectronic circuits are some 100 000 times more reliable than their thermionic predecessors.

Subjects: Physics.

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