This chapter focuses on the concept of technology paradigm primarily advanced by Giovanni Dosi. It summarizes and contrasts the paradigms for six basic technologies (engine, transportation, electricity, lighting and display, information technology, telecommunication) in terms of (1) a technology's basic concepts or principles and the trade-offs that are defined by them; (2) the directions of advance within these trade-offs defined by technological trajectories; (3) the potential limits to trajectories and their paradigms; and (4) the roles of components and scientific knowledge in these limits. The chapter also identifies the four methods for improving performance and cost: (1) improvements in efficiency; (2) radical new processes; (3) geometrical scaling and (4) improvements in “key” components.
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