It is well known that, ever since they first appeared in the 80s, PCs have CPUs with Intel architecture. The fact that there are many systems based on PCs is also common knowledge. However, the general public may be unaware of the features of embedded systems around us (such as cell phones, tablets, vehicles, appliances…).
On June 30th 1948, The New York Times devoted a 4-inch article on page 46 to a new invention: “A device called a transistor, which has several applications in radio where a vacuum tube ordinarily is employed”.  The article unveiled what Bell Labs (the R&D Department of the American telephone operator AT&T) had been developing and patenting since 1947. This modest announcement of what was to become the central artefact of electronics, was followed by a relatively non-aggressive plan of action for introducing the product on the market. AT&T waived the royalties for transistorized hearing aids in honor of Alexander Graham Bell, a lifelong advocate for the hearing impaired. There were not many more applications for the transistor technology in sight.