50 years of chips


50 years of chips

Cliff Saran

On 12 September 1958, Jack Kilby created a revolution with the world's first integrated circuit (pictured), which he created while co-workers at Texas Instruments were on their annual holiday. At the time Kilby said, "The circuit was a simple design that created a sine wave, built on a slice of geranium. What we didn't realise then was that the integrated circuit would reduce the cost of electronic functions by a factor of a million to one. Nothing had ever done that for anything before."

Commenting on the 50th anniversary, Gartner vice-president and distinguished analyst Jim Tully said, "The development of the integrated circuit (IC) made possible great cost reductions in electronics. This allowed the technology to spread rapidly through all areas of society. Found in everything from memories and microprocessors to mobile phones, TVs, media players, navigation systems, games consoles, watches, cameras and countless other items, ICs are so woven into our lives that it would be hard to imagine a world without them."

Jack Kilby talks about the significance of the integrated circuits >>

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