In the history of computing why has the miniaturization of high speed computing power been one of the most significant technological advances?
Who are the main contributers to this technology?
I would rank the evolution of the modern computer and the internet on the same level as the telephone and the automobile in terms of impact on society. It has changed everything and there is no going back. But like all of these inventions, the modern computer did not happen overnight. Like the telephone, automobile, and internet, it evolved over the course of time. Computers started as large, inefficient (by current standards), immobile devices with relatively limited applications. Over time they became faster, more efficient, and smaller (and, as a result, portable). I don't have the figures in front of me, but I suspect that the average smart phone has more computing power than was used to put men on the moon in 1969. And that equipment took up giant rooms versus fitting into your hand. But the real power of the portability of computers has been dramatically increasing their potential applications to modern life. Since becoming portable, ideas for the everyday uses of computers have left the realm of engineers and lead to an explosion of ideas from people of all walks of life. From business people to marketing people to students in their homes, a vast array of people now have the ability to contribute to the use of computers and computer programs in new and interesting ways. A person in their garage can create a new software package and upload it for use by people all over the world. This level of participation from both the supply and demand side would never have been possible without the miniaturization and portability of modern computers.
There are numerous contributors to the development of the modern microprocessor (the microchip that makes high speed computing power possible), but two important early ones were Texas Instruments and Intel Corporation.