Transistors, Rice & Neurons: FORTUNE Looks to Applied Materials to Digest Growth in Technology

Transistors, Rice & Neurons: FORTUNE Looks to Applied Materials to Digest Growth in Technology

Applied Materials was highlighted in an article released by FORTUNE today about the incredibly low and ever-falling price of transistors, the new kinds of jobs they are doing and the pervasiveness of the technology. Below is a brief excerpt of the article:

For comparison, your brain and mine each contain about 100 billion neurons. By itself, that comparison doesn't mean much: A transistor has one connection leading in and out, while a neuron may have thousands or tens of thousands. But those devices are increasingly connected to one another via the Internet, which will soon be dominated by disparate devices increasingly working as one. Further, the transistors-to-neurons comparison helps us nongeeks grasp the simply staggering pervasiveness of technology.

Consider: The world produced about 10 quintillion transistors in 2009, which is 250 times more than all the grains of rice consumed last year, according to Applied Materials, which makes the machines that produce all those transistors. At Best Buy, a 16GB flash drive (128 billion transistors) costs $32.95; at the supermarket across the street, a five-pound bag of rice (150,000 grains) costs $4.85. For the price of a single grain of rice, a retail shopper can buy about 125,000 transistors.

Visit FORTUNE’s web site to access the article.

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