turn on and off

Michael30000

Senior Member
Russian
Hello everyone,

From the book Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman.

A microprocessor is built out of transistors, which are tiny switches that can turn a flow of electricity on or off. The computational power of a microprocessor is a function of how fast the transistors actually turn on and off and how many of these you can fit onto a single silicon chip.

The first sentence says: "tiny switches that can turn a flow of electricity on or off."

Does "of how fast the transistors actually turn on and off and" mean "of how fast the transistors actually turn on and off a flow of electricity" or does it imply that the transistors turn on and off themselves?

Thank you.
 
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    When a transistor is "on" the electricity flows, when it is "off", the electricity does not flow. Some other part of the circuit (possibly another transistor:)) is responsible for changing them from the "on" state to the "off" state. That is the transition/switching he refers to when talking of "speed".
     
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