Transistors can also work as switches. A tiny electric current flowing through one part of a transistor can make a much bigger current flow through another part of it. In other words, the small current switches on the larger one. This is essentially how all computer chips work. For example, a memory chip contains hundreds of millions or even billions of transistors, each of which can be switched on or off individually. Since each transistor can be in two distinct states, it can store two different numbers, zero and one. With billions of transistors, a chip can store billions of zeros and ones, and almost as many ordinary numbers and letters (or characters, as we call them). More about this in a moment.