Electronics: Gulliver-Size Need

For Lilliputian Products

Medieval theologians who argued for years about the number of angels that could stand on the head of a pin never found a satisfactory answer. Contemporary scientists who are just as doggedly determined to see how much gadgetry they can cram into about the same amount of space have made remarkable progress. On a barely visible chip of silicon as small as one-twentieth of an inch square, they can now produce complex and virtually trouble-free electronic circuits containing more than 80 built-in transistors, diodes, resistors and capacitors.

These tiny devices—called...

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