They're everywhere, but where did they come from? Silicon chips drive just about everything that sucks power, from toys to heart monitors, but their inventors aren't nearly as widely known as Edison and Ford. Journalist T.R. Reid has thoroughly updated The Chip, his 1985 exploration of the life work of inventors Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce, to reflect the colossal shift toward smarter gadgets that has taken place since then.
Satisfying as both biography and basic science text, the book perfectly captures the independence and near-obsessive problem-solving talents of the two men. Though ultimately only one of them (Noyce) ended up with legal rights to the invention, they shared a respect for each other that persisted throughout their careers. Since Kilby won the 2000 Nobel Prize for Physics for his work, the story is all the more compelling and intriguing over 40 years after the invention. Reid's work uncovers human dimensions we'd never expect to see from 1950s engineering research. --Rob Lightner
In 1958, "before Chernobyl, before the Challenger rocket blew up, before the advent of Internet porn or cell phones that ring in the middle of the opera," when "`technological progress' still had only positive connotations," Jack Kilby had a good idea, but wasn't sure if his boss at Texas Instruments in Dallas would let him try it. In 1959, in what would become Silicon Valley, Robert Noyce had the same idea about overcoming "the numbers barrier" in electronics: "in a computer with tens of thousands of components... things were just about impossible to make," says Noyce. In his completely revised and updated edition of The Chip: How Two Americans Invented the Microchip and Launched a Revolution, Washington Post reporter and columnist T.R. Reid (Confucius Lives Next Door) investigates these underappreciated heroes of the technological age and the global repercussions of their invention. The enormity of their accomplishment was fully recognized only in 2000, when Kilby won the Nobel Prize. 3-city author tour.
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I found this book to be helpful and informative. It does a good job of explaining the Ideas, thoughts, history, and science behind one of today greatest enigmas the micro chip. Read morePublished on May 7 2003 by James Studer
At the very outset of the review I must warn that I am a techie so my review is biased. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Read morePublished on Sept. 13 2002 by Amazon Customer
This book was fascinating. As much an introduction to the science behind the chip as the history, the author uses the narrative of the invention of the microchip as a way to teach... Read morePublished on March 15 2002 by Jon Roig
An interesting book, full of good explanations of the science, along with glimpses of the personalities of the scientists. Read morePublished on Feb. 27 2002 by "jjohnson321"
I was disappointed in this book,which I read after I saw the author on C-Span's Book TV. The material would have made a good magazine article. Read morePublished on Jan. 5 2002 by david corwin