is more than a television series about police. Chip development has largely defined the computer industry since 1960 or so when it became possible to put multiple transistors (themselves a 1954 invention) on a single piece of material. Today millions of transistors share cramped space on a tiny piece of silicon in the simplest of chips. They are sophisticated silicon switching units that make magnetic media like disks crawl by comparison. Microprocessors are the highest-end chips, controlling entire computers and computer systems, while their cousins ROM and RAM store information and provide instructions.

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