Part of the Hardware glossary:

Jack St.Clair Kilby (1923-2005) is generally credited with being the inventor of the integrated circuit (IC).  While working at Texas Instruments in the late 1950s, Kilby discovered a way to make a chip and all its components out of the same block (monolith) of semiconductor material. 

This made electronic products dramatically cheaper to manufacture by changing the production model for electronics from discrete production where wires and individual components had to be assembled manually to an automated manufacturing process. After proving that integrated circuits were possible, Kilby headed teams that built the first military systems and the first computer incorporating integrated circuits. He also worked on teams that invented the handheld calculator and the thermal printer.

In 2000, Kilby received the Nobel Prize for his work on the integrated circuit. Robert Noyce, who was working at Fairchild Semiconductor on the concept of an integrated circuit back in 1958, is also credited as being an inventor of the integrated circuit.  

Texas Instruments has recreated Kilby's lab.

This was last updated in July 2009
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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