How It Works

Top 5 Facts: Microchips

Lightning switches

The nanoscale transistors found on modern microchips can be turned on and off at an unthinkable rate of over 100 billion times a second.

Too many zeros

With hundreds of millions of transistors on each chip, Intel estimates that it ships 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 (that’s 10 quintillion) transistors every year.

Moore’s challenge

Moore’s law isn’t a ‘fact’ like Newton’s Laws of Motion. It’s merely a prediction that transistor capacity will double roughly every two years; one that has held true for 26 years.

Nano transistors

The latest chip-making technology from Intel produces transistors that are so small that an amazing 30 million of them could fit on the head of a pin.

Endless supply

The versatile material upon which the microchip is constructed, silicon is the second-most abundant element in the Earth’s crust. It is beaten only by oxygen.