|History of technology|
The Information Age (also known as the Computer Age, Digital Age, or New Media Age) is a historical period that began in the mid-20th century, characterized by a rapid epochal shift from the traditional industry established by the Industrial Revolution to an economy primarily based upon information technology.The onset of the Information Age can be associated with the development of transistor technology.
According to the United Nations Public Administration Network, the Information Age was formed by capitalizing on computer microminiaturization advances,which would lead to modernized information and to communication processes upon broader usage within society becoming the driving force of social evolution.
Library expansion was calculated in 1945 by Fremont Rider to double in capacity every 16 years where sufficient space made available.He advocated replacing bulky, decaying printed works with miniaturized microform analog photographs, which could be duplicated on-demand for library patrons and other institutions.
Rider did not foresee, however, the digital technology that would follow decades later to replace analog microform with digital imaging, storage, and transmission media, whereby vast increases in the rapidity of information growth would be made possible through automated, potentially-lossless digital technologies. Accordingly, Moore's law , formulated around 1965, would calculate that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years.
By the early 1980s, along with improvements in computing power, the proliferation of the smaller and less expensive personal computers allowed for immediate access to information and the ability to share and store such for increasing numbers of workers. Connectivity between computers within organizations enabled employees at different levels to access greater amounts of information.
The world's technological capacity to store information grew from 2.6 (optimally compressed) exabytes (EB) in 1986 to 15.8 EB in 1993; over 54.5 EB in 2000; and to 295 (optimally compressed) EB in 2007.This is the informational equivalent to less than one 730-megabyte (MB) CD-ROM per person in 1986 (539 MB per person); roughly four CD-ROM per person in 1993; twelve CD-ROM per person in the year 2000; and almost sixty-one CD-ROM per person in 2007. It is estimated that the world's capacity to store information has reached 5 zettabytes in 2014, the informational equivalent of 4,500 stacks of printed books from the earth to the sun.
The amount of digital data stored appears to be growing approximately exponentially, reminiscent of Moore's law. As such, Kryder's law prescribes that the amount of storage space available appears to be growing approximately exponentially.
The world's technological capacity to receive information through one-way broadcast networks was 432 exabytes of (optimally compressed) information in 1986; 715 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 1993; 1.2 (optimally compressed) zettabytes in 2000; and 1.9 zettabytes in 2007, the information equivalent of 174 newspapers per person per day.
The world's effective capacity to exchange information through two-way telecommunication networks was 281 petabytes of (optimally compressed) information in 1986; 471 petabytes in 1993; 2.2 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 2000; and 65 (optimally compressed) exabytes in 2007, the information equivalent of 6 newspapers per person per day.In the 1990s, the spread of the Internet caused a sudden leap in access to and ability to share information in businesses and homes globally. Technology was developing so quickly that a computer costing $3000 in 1997 would cost $2000 two years later and $1000 the following year.
The world's technological capacity to compute information with humanly guided general-purpose computers grew from 3.0 × 108 MIPS in 1986, to 4.4 × 109 MIPS in 1993; to 2.9 × 1011 MIPS in 2000; to 6.4 × 1012 MIPS in 2007.An article featured in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution in 2016 reported that:
[ Digital technology] has vastly exceeded the cognitive capacity of any single human being and has done so a decade earlier than predicted. In terms of capacity, there are two measures of importance: the number of operations a system can perform and the amount of information that can be stored. The number of synaptic operations per second in a human brain has been estimated to lie between 10^15 and 10^17. While this number is impressive, even in 2007 humanity's general-purpose computers were capable of performing well over 10^18 instructions per second. Estimates suggest that the storage capacity of an individual human brain is about 10^12 bytes. On a per capita basis, this is matched by current digital storage (5x10^21 bytes per 7.2x10^9 people).
There are different conceptualizations of the Information Age. Some focus on the evolution of information over the ages, distinguishing between the Primary Information Age and the Secondary Information Age. Information in the Primary Information Age was handled by newspapers, radio and television. The Secondary Information Age was developed by the Internet, satellite televisions and mobile phones. The Tertiary Information Age was emerged by media of the Primary Information Age interconnected with media of the Secondary Information Age as presently experienced.
Others classify it in terms of the well-established Schumpeterian long waves or Kondratiev waves. Here authors distinguish three different long-term metaparadigms, each with different long waves. The first focused on the transformation of material, including stone, bronze, and iron. The second, often referred to as industrial revolution, was dedicated to the transformation of energy, including water, steam, electric, and combustion power. Finally, the most recent metaparadigm aims at transforming information. It started out with the proliferation of communication and stored data and has now entered the age of algorithms, which aims at creating automated processes to convert the existing information into actionable knowledge.
Eventually, Information and communication technology (ICT)—i.e. computers, computerized machinery, fiber optics, communication satellites, the Internet, and other ICT tools—became a significant part of the world economy, as the development of microcomputers greatly changed many businesses and industries.Nicholas Negroponte captured the essence of these changes in his 1995 book, Being Digital, in which he discusses the similarities and differences between products made of atoms and products made of bits. In essence, a copy of a product made of bits can be made cheaply and quickly, then expediently shipped across the country or the world at very low cost.
The Information Age has affected the workforce in several ways, such as compelling workers to compete in a global job market. One of the most evident concerns is the replacement of human labor by computers that can do their jobs faster and more effectively, thus creating a situation in which individuals who perform tasks that can easily be automated are forced to find employment where their labor is not as disposable.This especially creates issue for those in industrial cities, where solutions typically involve lowering working time, which is often highly resisted. Thus, individuals who lose their jobs may be pressed to move up into joining "mind workers" (e.g. engineers, doctors, lawyers, teachers, professors, scientists, executives, journalists, consultants), who are able to compete successfully in the world market and receive (relatively) high wages.
Along with automation, jobs traditionally associated with the middle class (e.g. assembly line, data processing, management, and supervision) have also begun to disappear as result of outsourcing.Unable to compete with those in developing countries, production and service workers in post-industrial (i.e. developed) societies either lose their jobs through outsourcing, accept wage cuts, or settle for low-skill, low-wage service jobs. In the past, the economic fate of individuals would be tied to that of their nation's. For example, workers in the United States were once well paid in comparison to those in other countries. With the advent of the Information Age and improvements in communication, this is no longer the case, as workers must now compete in a global job market, whereby wages are less dependent on the success or failure of individual economies.
In effectuating a globalized workforce, the internet has just as well allowed for increased opportunity in developing countries, making it possible for workers in such places to provide in-person services, therefore competing directly with their counterparts in other nations. This competitive advantage translates into increased opportunities and higher wages.
The Information Age has affected the workforce in that automation and computerization have resulted in higher productivity coupled with net job loss in manufacturing. In the United States, for example, from January 1972 to August 2010, the number of people employed in manufacturing jobs fell from 17,500,000 to 11,500,000 while manufacturing value rose 270%.
Although it initially appeared that job loss in the industrial sector might be partially offset by the rapid growth of jobs in information technology, the recession of March 2001 foreshadowed a sharp drop in the number of jobs in the sector. This pattern of decrease in jobs would continue until 2003,and data has shown that, overall, technology creates more jobs than it destroys even in the short run.
Industry has become more information-intensive while less labor- and capital-intensive. This has left important implications for the workforce, as workers have become increasingly productive as the value of their labor decreases. For the system of capitalism itself, the value of labor decreases, the value of capital increases.
In the classical model, investments in human and financial capital are important predictors of the performance of a new venture.However, as demonstrated by Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, it now seems possible for a group of relatively inexperienced people with limited capital to succeed on a large scale.
The Information Age was enabled by technology developed in the Digital Revolution, which was itself enabled by building on the developments of the Technological Revolution.
The onset of the Information Age can be associated with the development of transistor technology.The concept of a field-effect transistor was first theorized by Julius Edgar Lilienfeld in 1925. The first practical transistor was the point-contact transistor, invented by the engineers Walter Houser Brattain and John Bardeen while working for William Shockley at Bell Labs in 1947. This was a breakthrough that laid the foundations for modern technology. Shockley's research team also invented the bipolar junction transistor in 1952. The most widely used type of transistor is the metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET), invented by Mohamed M. Atalla and Dawon Kahng at Bell Labs in 1960. The complementary MOS (CMOS) fabrication process was developed by Frank Wanlass and Chih-Tang Sah in 1963.
Before the advent of electronics, mechanical computers, like the Analytical Engine in 1837, were designed to provide routine mathematical calculation and simple decision-making capabilities. Military needs during World War II drove development of the first electronic computers, based on vacuum tubes, including the Z3, the Atanasoff–Berry Computer, Colossus computer, and ENIAC.
The invention of the transistor enabled the era of mainframe computers (1950s–1970s), typified by the IBM 360. These large, room-sized computers provided data calculation and manipulation that was much faster than humanly possible, but were expensive to buy and maintain, so were initially limited to a few scientific institutions, large corporations, and government agencies.
The germanium integrated circuit (IC) was invented by Jack Kilby at Texas Instruments in 1958.The silicon integrated circuit was then invented in 1959 by Robert Noyce at Fairchild Semiconductor, using the planar process developed by Jean Hoerni, who was in turn building on Mohamed Atalla's silicon surface passivation method developed at Bell Labs in 1957. Following the invention of the MOS transistor by Mohamed Atalla and Dawon Kahng at Bell Labs in 1959, the MOS integrated circuit was developed by Fred Heiman and Steven Hofstein at RCA in 1962. The silicon-gate MOS IC was later developed by Federico Faggin at Fairchild Semiconductor in 1968. With the advent of the MOS transistor and the MOS IC, transistor technology rapidly improved, and the ratio of computing power to size increased dramatically, giving direct access to computers to ever smaller groups of people.
The first commercial single-chip microprocessor launched in 1971, the Intel 4004, which was developed by Federico Faggin using his silicon-gate MOS IC technology, along with Marcian Hoff, Masatoshi Shima and Stan Mazor.
Along with electronic arcade machines and home video game consoles in the 1970s, the development of personal computers like the Commodore PET and Apple II (both in 1977) gave individuals access to the computer. But data sharing between individual computers was either non-existent or largely manual, at first using punched cards and magnetic tape, and later floppy disks.
The first developments for storing data were initially based on photographs, starting with microphotography in 1851 and then microform in the 1920s, with the ability to store documents on film, making them much more compact. Early information theory and Hamming codes were developed about 1950, but awaited technical innovations in data transmission and storage to be put to full use.
Magnetic-core memory was developed from the research of Frederick W. Viehe in 1947 and An Wang at Harvard University in 1949.With the advent of the MOS transistor, MOS semiconductor memory was developed by John Schmidt at Fairchild Semiconductor in 1964. In 1967, Dawon Kahng and Simon Sze at Bell Labs described in 1967 how the floating gate of an MOS semiconductor device could be used for the cell of a reprogrammable ROM. Following the invention of flash memory by Fujio Masuoka at Toshiba in 1980, Toshiba commercialized NAND flash memory in 1987.
While cables transmitting digital data connected computer terminals and peripherals to mainframes were common, and special message-sharing systems leading to email were first developed in the 1960s, independent computer-to-computer networking began with ARPANET in 1969. This expanded to become the Internet (coined in 1974), and then the World Wide Web in 1991.
MOSFET scaling, the rapid miniaturization of MOSFETs at a rate predicted by Moore's law, –1990s, laptops were developed as a form of portable computer, and personal digital assistants (PDAs) could be used while standing or walking. Pagers, widely used by the 1980s, were largely replaced by mobile phones beginning in the late 1990s, providing mobile networking features to some computers. Now commonplace, this technology is extended to digital cameras and other wearable devices. Starting in the late 1990s, tablets and then smartphones combined and extended these abilities of computing, mobility, and information sharing.led to computers becoming smaller and more powerful, to the point where they could be carried. During the 1980s
Internet video was popularized by YouTube, an online video platform founded by Chad Hurley, Jawed Karim and Steve Chen in 2005, which enabled the video streaming of MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) user-generated content from anywhere on the World Wide Web.
Electronic paper, which has origins in the 1970s, allows digital information to appear as paper documents.
Optical communication has played an important role in communication networks.Optical communication provided the hardware basis for Internet technology, laying the foundations for the Digital Revolution and Information Age.
In 1953, Bram van Heel demonstrated image transmission through bundles of optical fibers with a transparent cladding. The same year, Harold Hopkins and Narinder Singh Kapany at Imperial College succeeded in making image-transmitting bundles with over 10,000 optical fibers, and subsequently achieved image transmission through a 75 cm long bundle which combined several thousand fibers.
Metal–oxide–semiconductor (MOS) image sensors, which first began appearing in the late 1960s, led to the transition from analog to digital imaging, and from analog to digital cameras, during the 1980s–1990s. The most common image sensors are the charge-coupled device (CCD) sensor and the CMOS (complementary MOS) active-pixel sensor (CMOS sensor).
The bit is the most basic unit of information in computing and digital communications. The name is a contraction of binary digit. The bit represents a logical state with one of two possible values. These values are most commonly represented as either "1" or "0", but other representations such as true/false, yes/no, +/−, or on/off are commonly used.
In computing, memory is a device or system that is used to store information for immediate use in a computer or related computer hardware and digital electronic devices. The term memory is often synonymous with the term primary storage or main memory. An archaic synonym for memory is store.
The information explosion is the rapid increase in the amount of published information or data and the effects of this abundance. As the amount of available data grows, the problem of managing the information becomes more difficult, which can lead to information overload. The Online Oxford English Dictionary indicates use of the phrase in a March 1964 New Statesman article. The New York Times first used the phrase in its editorial content in an article by Walter Sullivan on June 7, 1964, in which he described the phrase as "much discussed". (p11.) The earliest know use of the phrase was in a speech about television by NBC president Pat Weaver at the Institute of Practitioners of Advertising in London on September 27, 1955. The speech was rebroadcast on radio station WSUI in Iowa and excerpted in the Daily Iowan newspaper two months later.
An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit is a set of electronic circuits on one small flat piece of semiconductor material, usually silicon. Large numbers of tiny MOSFETs integrate into a small chip. This results in circuits that are orders of magnitude smaller, faster, and less expensive than those constructed of discrete electronic components. The IC's mass production capability, reliability, and building-block approach to integrated circuit design has ensured the rapid adoption of standardized ICs in place of designs using discrete transistors. ICs are now used in virtually all electronic equipment and have revolutionized the world of electronics. Computers, mobile phones, and other digital home appliances are now inextricable parts of the structure of modern societies, made possible by the small size and low cost of ICs such as modern computer processors and microcontrollers.
Data storage is the recording (storing) of information (data) in a storage medium. Handwriting, phonographic recording, magnetic tape, and optical discs are all examples of storage media, some authors even propose that DNA is a natural data storage mechanism. Recording may be accomplished with virtually any form of energy. Electronic data storage requires electrical power to store and retrieve data.
The metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor, also known as the metal–oxide–silicon transistor, is a type of insulated-gate field-effect transistor that is fabricated by the controlled oxidation of a semiconductor, typically silicon. The voltage of the covered gate determines the electrical conductivity of the device; this ability to change conductivity with the amount of applied voltage can be used for amplifying or switching electronic signals.
An information society is a society where the usage, creation, distribution, manipulation and integration of information is a significant activity. Its main drivers are information and communication technologies, which have resulted in rapid information growth in variety and is somehow changing all aspects of social organization, including education, economy, health, government, warfare, and levels of democracy. The people who are able to partake in this form of society are sometimes called either computer users or even digital citizens, defined by K. Mossberger as “Those who use the Internet regularly and effectively”. This is one of many dozen internet terms that have been identified to suggest that humans are entering a new and different phase of society.
In the broadest definition, a sensor is a device, module, machine, or subsystem whose purpose is to detect events or changes in its environment and send the information to other electronics, frequently a computer processor. A sensor is always used with other electronics.
A digital image is an image composed of picture elements, also known as pixels, each with finite, discrete quantities of numeric representation for its intensity or gray level that is an output from its two-dimensional functions fed as input by its spatial coordinates denoted with x, y on the x-axis and y-axis, respectively. Depending on whether the image resolution is fixed, it may be of vector or raster type.
Information and communications technology (ICT) is an extensional term for information technology (IT) that stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of telecommunications and computers as per IFGICT, as well as necessary enterprise software, middleware, storage and audiovisual, that enable users to access, store, transmit, understand and manipulate information as per the international federation of ICT.
Semiconductor memory is a digital electronic semiconductor device used for digital data storage, such as computer memory. It typically refers to MOS memory, where data is stored within metal–oxide–semiconductor (MOS) memory cells on a silicon integrated circuit memory chip. There are numerous different types using different semiconductor technologies. The two main types of random-access memory (RAM) are static RAM (SRAM), which uses several MOS transistors per memory cell, and dynamic RAM (DRAM), which uses a MOS transistor and a MOS capacitor per cell. Non-volatile memory uses floating-gate memory cells, which consist of a single floating-gate MOS transistor per cell.
The history of telecommunication began with the use of smoke signals and drums in Africa, Asia, and the Americas. In the 1790s, the first fixed semaphore systems emerged in Europe. However, it was not until the 1830s that electrical telecommunication systems started to appear. This article details the history of telecommunication and the individuals who helped make telecommunication systems what they are today. The history of telecommunication is an important part of the larger history of communication.
The Digital Revolution is the shift from mechanical and analogue electronic technology to digital electronics which began in the latter half of the 20th century, with the adoption and proliferation of digital computers and digital record-keeping, that continues to the present day. Implicitly, the term also refers to the sweeping changes brought about by digital computing and communication technologies during this period. From analogous to the Agricultural Revolution and Industrial Revolution, the Digital Revolution marked the beginning of the Information Age.
Edholm's law, proposed by and named after Phil Edholm, refers to the observation that the three categories of telecommunication, namely wireless (mobile), nomadic and wired networks (fixed), are in lockstep and gradually converging. Edholm's law also holds that data rates for these telecommunications categories increase on similar exponential curves, with the slower rates trailing the faster ones by a predictable time lag. Edholm's law predicts that the bandwidth and data rates double every 18 months, which has proven to be true since the 1970s. The trend is evident in the cases of Internet, cellular (mobile), wireless LAN and wireless personal area networks.
In computing, bandwidth is the maximum rate of data transfer across a given path. Bandwidth may be characterized as network bandwidth, data bandwidth, or digital bandwidth.
Read-only memory (ROM) is a type of non-volatile memory used in computers and other electronic devices. Data stored in ROM cannot be electronically modified after the manufacture of the memory device. Read-only memory is useful for storing software that is rarely changed during the life of the system, also known as firmware. Software applications for programmable devices can be distributed as plug-in cartridges containing ROM.
Random-access memory is a form of computer memory that can be read and changed in any order, typically used to store working data and machine code. A random-access memory device allows data items to be read or written in almost the same amount of time irrespective of the physical location of data inside the memory, in contrast with other direct-access data storage media, where the time required to read and write data items varies significantly depending on their physical locations on the recording medium, due to mechanical limitations such as media rotation speeds and arm movement.
Information technology (IT) is the use of computers to create, process, store, and exchange all kinds of electronic data and information. IT is typically used within the context of business operations as opposed to personal or entertainment technologies. IT is considered to be a subset of information and communications technology (ICT). An information technology system is generally an information system, a communications system, or, more specifically speaking, a computer system – including all hardware, software, and peripheral equipment – operated by a limited group of IT users.
The memory cell is the fundamental building block of computer memory. The memory cell is an electronic circuit that stores one bit of binary information and it must be set to store a logic 1 and reset to store a logic 0. Its value is maintained/stored until it is changed by the set/reset process. The value in the memory cell can be accessed by reading it.
The metal–oxide–semiconductor field-effect transistor (MOSFET, MOS-FET, or MOS FET), also known as the metal–oxide–silicon transistor (MOS transistor, or MOS), is a type of insulated-gate field-effect transistor (IGFET) that is fabricated by the controlled oxidation of a semiconductor, typically silicon. The voltage of the covered gate determines the electrical conductivity of the device; this ability to change conductivity with the amount of applied voltage can be used for amplifying or switching electronic signals. The MOSFET was invented by Egyptian engineer Mohamed M. Atalla and Korean engineer Dawon Kahng at Bell Labs in 1959. It is the basic building block of modern electronics, and the most frequently manufactured device in history, with an estimated total of 13 sextillion (1.3 × 1022) MOSFETs manufactured between 1960 and 2018.
Moore also affirmed he never said transistor count would double every 18 months, as is commonly said. Initially, he said transistors on a chip would double every year. He then recalibrated it to every two years in 1975. David House, an Intel executive at the time, noted that the changes would cause computer performance to double every 18 months.
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