Revision as of 13:52, 31 October 2008 by Csommero
- Page created by SHH, 10 September 2008
- Contributors: SHH x5, Csommero x2, Nbrewer x4, Administrator1 x5, Kwiggins x1
- Last modified by Administrator1, 30 January 2012
This explanation of the IC is based on one of the circuits proposed in Jack Kilby’s patent, but is not identical to the one in the above photograph. The idea occurred to a number of inventors at the same time, but the first to accomplish it were Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments and Robert Noyce of Fairchild Semiconductor Incorporated. The idea caught on like wildfire because the integrated circuit had many of the advantages that had made the transistor attractive earlier. These advantages included small size, high reliability, low cost, and small power consumption. However, these circuits were difficult to make because if one component of the chip was faulty, the whole chip was ruined. As engineers got better and better at squeezing more and more transistors and other components onto a single chip, the problems of actually making these chips increased. When the transistors were shrunk down to microscopic size, even the smallest bit of dust could ruin the chip. That's why today, chips are made in special "clean rooms" where workers wear the "bunny suits" that we often see on TV. Compared to the original integrated circuit, which was a simple device with just a few components, the number of components on today's' integrated circuits is amazing. In the 1960s, an engineer named Gordon Moore predicted that the number of elements on a chip would double every year (later revised to every two years) into the foreseeable future. "Moore's Law" has held true so far. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Intel Pentium chip had over 100 million transistors on it, with the total number of components including resistors, capacitors, and conductors being even larger.