Conclusion and prospect

Conclusion and prospect

Silicon Valley is full of amazing and exciting stories. The "cradle of America's electronics industry,") as it is also referred to, has spawned - and still does - many start-ups which are mostly lead by passionate engineers and entrepreneurs. Apart from t he big and famous companies like HP, Intel or Apple, scores of smaller firms are settled in this area. The Valley is a place of active entrepreneurism, and is home to thousands of smaller companies manufacturing a variety of electronics products.

The modern way of computing is closely linked with Silicon Valley. Starting with the invention of the integrated circuit and the rise of the semiconductor industry in the 1960s, the technological progress has passed the invention of the microprocessor at I ntel and led into the personal computer revolution, which was massively launched by the Apple II at the end of the 1970s. The Macintosh revolution in 1984 was another big step, because it ushered in the age of modern computing. Today, personal computers ha ve mostly become tools easy to use. They are no longer just complicated machines for a small set of hobbyists and computer freaks, but they can be used by everyone. Personal computers support us greatly at many tasks such as in business calculations, data base management and word processing. Typing these lines on my PC, I can experience the conveniences of word processing, in contrast to the intricate way of using a typewriter.

Software plays a more and more important role in the easy way of computing, since it is what makes computers run and determines the way users communicate with them. The software industry came into existence as a consequence of the revolutions in hardware a nd developed from the goal to make computers an electronic tool for the public. The software market is much bigger than the one of the hardware industry, and is estimated at 10 times of the cost of a certain hardware product.) The software industry is tod ay dominated by Bill Gates at Microsoft, who "made himself the richest man in America") with an incredible fortune of several billion dollars.

Moore's Law of more and more powerful microprocessors at the same price is still very topical today and probably will be so in the years to come. Its validity can be observed every day, looking at the costs of any PC, which drop continuously.

The trend goes to more powerful microcomputers, which can handle the processing of text, video and sound (multimedia) and the transmission of them via interconnected networks. Thus, the telecommunications industry is expected to merge with the computing in dustry.

Whatever innovated developments the future may bring along, the nucleus for modern computing remains that "kingdom built on sand,") the main material of which is silicon - primarily found in sand.

Martin Groeger
Last modified: Mon Jul 8 05:47:03 PDT