Invented in 1959 by William Shockley, the transistor is a tiny semiconductor device that is the basis of all microprocessors and intergrated circuits.
Millions of transistors are joined together on a silicon chip in order to form an 'integrated circuit'.
Transistors can be designed to be electronic switches,as used in computer chips.
Transistors can also be designed to amplify small signals into bigger signals - as used in your Hi-Fi and iPod.
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