The eras of electronics

TechNews Writer
Mon Feb 13, 2023

Looking back to 1973, the first handheld cell phone was invented by Dr. Martin Cooper and later launched by Motorola in the year 1984. It makes me feel so proud to say that Dr. Cooper received his degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology. People have become so attached to electronics that we cannot imagine a day without them. We depend on various devices ranging from simple washing machines to satellites that orbit the earth to keep us connected 24/7. Oftentimes, we do not realize how important gadgets in our lives are. I’m 100% certain that we will be doomed if we were to live even a day without our mobile phones. If they play such a vital role in our lives, why not take a couple of minutes to reflect on what the future of electronics will look like and what impact it will have on our lives?

It is a wonder how much progress we have made in such a short period. Still, I feel that the future of electronics does not look as promising, which means that the robots we see in sci-fi movies may take a lot longer to become a part of our lives. It is not because of software technology, but because of hardware technology that puts a halt to rapid development.

A transistor is the very basic element of any electronic device. The transistor size has a direct correlation with the performance of an electronic device. In simple terms, the smaller the transistor, the faster the current flows in it, and the less power is consumed. Therefore, the slowdown in the development of this basic element hinders the development of all other applications associated with it. Many experts say that we have reached a limit in the development of electronics because reducing the size of transistors no longer helps to reduce power consumption. Instead, it does the exact opposite, which is one of the reasons why we are seeing a spike in electronics prices.

Does this mean we won’t get laptops or mobile phones with better performance? The answer is both yes and no. It is confusing, isn’t it? The advances in the electronics industry have been happening faster than we could have imagined. We went from a four-kilogram handheld mobile device that could only transmit voice to a 200-gram mobile phone performing wonders. In the following decade, we will see disruptions in the computer field. To be honest, I don't believe that in the near future, we are going to see significant progress in computer processors and chipsets in the near future.

You may ask if this is the end of electronics, and my answer would be negative. Scientists are working hard to overcome the problem, trying to find a breakthrough solution that will change the electronics industry. Researchers are looking for an alternative material to replace the widely used silicon while developing new technologies that will help solve this problem. Tech giants such as Apple, Samsung, AMD, and Intel have already started investing billions of dollars in research to find a solution. As I mentioned earlier, advances may take a negative curve down the line, but technological breakthroughs will never stop happening.



Appears in
2023 - Spring - Issue 4