This year marks the 40th anniversary of the first cell phone call, and one would be hard pressed to think of a more ubiquitous high tech device. Market research firm mobiThinking puts the total number of worldwide cell phone subscribers in 2012 at more than 6.8 billion. That’s equivalent to about 96 percent of the world’s population!How did the cell phone become the most widely used communication technology in human history? A major factor is the ongoing advancement of high-performance, low-power semiconductor components. These advancements improve battery life and enable the continuous addition of new features and functionality that make today’s smartphones a reality. Taking this one step further, the advancements in semiconductor technology are largely the result of work by thousands of engineers and scientists to push the limits of the physical and material sciences.