Semiconductors are used in the production of transistors, diodes, and computer memory devices and serve as the foundational component of every piece of modern day electronic equipment. This technology has completely changed the world in which we live by providing better, faster, and cheaper electronic devices. Semiconductor applications are widely used throughout the electronic, integrated circuit, and computer industries. Electronic equipment and various consumer products also depend upon different types of semiconductors. Much of today's modern military equipment, research laboratory instrumentation, and manufacturing industries rely on semiconductors.
Not all semiconductors are fit for use in computers. Computer semiconductors must be manufactured in a specific way to ensure that they have the correct properties. In 2011, two-thirds of semiconductor applications involve the manufacturing of integrated circuits which are used in electronic devices such as personal computers, netbooks, laptops, tablet computers, calculators and other devices. Continued improvement in the manufacturing process of semiconductors is the main reason that the prices of computers and other similar electronics continue to decrease.
Television sets and a host of other consumer electronic devices make up a large portion of different semiconductor applications. Every consumer electronic device, from a simple toaster that can sense when toast is too brown to the most technologically advanced home theater system, use this technology. Without semiconductors, modern day electronic devices and many of the functions and features that people take for granted would not exist. For example, the computers and integrated circuits that are part of some home appliances, like microwave ovens, televisions sets, digital thermostats, and refrigerators rely on semiconductor applications. Many different electronic devices depend on semiconductors that are used to make the integrated circuits and the computer chips necessary to perform various advanced functions like temperature control, digital recording, and signal reception.
Some other semiconductor applications include military equipment, weapons, laboratory equipment, and various electronic devices used in industrial control systems. For example, the electronic components and circuitry used to guide a missile to a specific target rely on the accurate functioning of semiconductors. Devices used in research to measure the presence of a single atom or molecule could not function without advanced semiconductor applications. The electronic devices that allow humans to interface with various types of industrial equipment are also heavily reliant on this technology. Electronic devices used in industrial control systems that take several thousand readings each second and are connected to a network of computers handling data at the speed of light would not be possible without semiconductor technology.