..... Click the link for more information. ). As sales of electronic products in the United States grew from some $200 million in 1927 to over $266 billion in 1990, the electronics industry transformed factories, offices, and homes, emerging as a key economic sector that rivaled the chemical, steel, and auto industries in size.
The industry traces its origins to theinvention of the two-element electron tube (1904) by John Ambrose Flemming, and the three-element tube (1906) by Lee De Forest De Forest, Lee, 1873–1961, American inventor, b. Council Bluffs, Iowa, grad. Yale, 1896. He was a pioneer in the development of wireless telegraphy, sound pictures, and television.
..... Click the link for more information. . These inventions led to the development ofcommercial radio in the 1920s, which boosted radio sales to $300 million by the end of the decade. In 1947, the electronics industry made another important advance when John Bardeen, Walter Brattain, and William Shockley invented the transistor transistor, three-terminal, solid-state electronic device used for amplification and switching. It is the solid-state analog to the triode electron tube ; thetransistor has replaced the electron tube for virtually all common applications.
..... Click the link for more information. . Smaller, lighter, and more durable than the vacuum tubes that had been used in radios, transistors touched off a period of progressive miniaturization of electronic devices. Integrated circuits, which were developed in the 1950s, allowed the integration of several circuitsinto one circuit, and the introduction of analog devices in the 1960s vastly increased the amount of information that could be stored on a single silicon chip.
Other important sectors that have made great advances since the 1970s include laser and optical electronics, digital electronics, and microwave electronics. Advances in the field of electronics have also played a key role in the developmentof space technology and satellite communications; inaugurated a revolution in the computer industry that led to the introduction of the personal computer; resulted in the introduction of computer-guided robots in factories; produced systems for storing and transmitting data electronically; greatly expanded the market for popular music and culture; and, in the process, transformed life at home, theoffice, and the factory. Many of these innovations, such as the transistor, had their origins in military research, which needed increasingly complex electronic devices for modern high-tech warfare.
In the 1960s, the U.S. consumer electronics industry went into decline as manufacturers were unable to compete with the quality and pricing of foreign products, especially the electronic goodsproduced by Japanese companies such as Sony and Hitachi. By the 1980s, however, U.S. manufacturers became the world leaders in semiconductor development and assembly. In the 1990s semiconductors were essential components of personal computers personal computer (PC), small but powerful computer primarily used in an office or home without the need to be connected to a larger computer. PCs evolved after thedevelopment of the microprocessor made possible the hobby-computer movement of the late 1970s, when
..... Click the link for more information. and most other electronic items (including cellular telephones, televisions, medical equipment, and "smart" appliances). While U.S. companies are still a major presence in the semiconductor industry (representing about 40% of world sales in 1998), the...