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Information and Communication Technology, Development of

Shane Greenstein


Subject Communication and Media Studies » Communication Studies
Media System » Communication Technology

Key-Topics technology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


Extract

The commercial information and communication technology (ICT) industry accounts for a large fraction of economic activity. It has spread to include an extraordinary range of economic undertakings. What drives economic change in this market? A variety of market-driven incentives play a salient role. The invention of the transistor did not lead in a linear way to the invention of computing and related ICTs. However, the invention of the transistor, and then the integrated circuit, did alter what equipment makers could build cheaply and what users could operate reliably. In popular discussion, advances in ICTs have become almost synonymous with advances in microprocessors. This is due to an observation by Gordon Moore, who co-founded and eventually became chairman at Intel. In 1965, he foresaw a doubling of circuits per chip every two years. This prediction about the rate of technical advance later became known as Moore's Law. In fact, microprocessors and dynamic random access memory (DRAM) have been doubling in capability every 18 months over the last three decades, and even faster than that for short periods ( Aizcorbe 2006 ). A similar pattern of improvement – though with variation in the rate – characterizes many other electronic components that go into producing a computer, server, or other equipment complementary to ICTs in many standard uses. This holds for disk drives, display ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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