CompSci Annual Lecture and Reception 2022
25 Apr 2022
17:30 – 19:30
Churchill College, Wolfson Hall
100 Years of Electronic Devices By Lord Alec Broers
From vacuum valves to semiconductor chips that enable artificial intelligence.
This talk is divided into three sections. The first is about the very early days of electronics and how he became fascinated with it. Lord Broers will start with the first commercial radio receivers. The second is about how digital computers, that initially used punch cards, vacuum valves, various forms of magnetic and acoustic wave storage and electron and optically written memories, today only use magnetic and optical disks and silicon integrated circuit chips, and disks may soon fall victim to the chip’s relentless progress. The third is a discussion of the fundamental barriers that face those struggling to sustain progress with silicon chips now that it has become increasingly difficult to improve performance and cost through straightforward miniaturization. Attention has turned to innovations in transistor design and in system and chip design and, in my view, it should be possible to deliver a few more generations with only small reductions in dimensions, but it is all getting extremely complex and expensive. Quantum computing offers another pathway but needs a different family of ultra-small devices which present even more formidable challenges.
Following the talk, alumni may use their High Table dining rights to enjoy a meal in College.