Two linked inventions, followed by continuous innovations are:
1. The Big Bang occurred when processing, memory, and control (programming) all came together to create the stored program computer concept that was the basis of subsequent computer innovation.
2. The transistor invention, leading to the integrated circuit that has attracted a series of innovations such that more interconnected transistors can be manufactured at one time in a single entity (chip) in an exponentially increasing fashion. The number of interconnected transistors manufactured on a single chip is approximately = 1.6 exp (t - 1965). Innovation has kept this increase going for 40 years and it is likely to be 50 years.
Gordon Bell is principal researcher with the Microsoft eSciences Research Group, San Francisco, visiting professor at Macquarie University’s Institute for Innovation, sponsor of the ACM’s Gordon Bell Prizes for parallelism awarded annually at Supercomputing