Integrated Circuits

Overview With the introduction of the first integrated circuit in 1958 by the “Fairchild Eight", a new era in electronic and computer technology began. Read more about the development of the first integrated circuit and the Fairchild Eight at www.ieee-virtual-museum.org. Integrated circuits greatly increased in power, while decreasing in size, as the demand for more powerful and efficient integrated circuits grew. Integrated circuit technology continues to change and grow, pushing the limits of digital electronics design and construction techniques. Almost everything from cars to microwave ovens use integrated circuits to process data and control mechanisms for machinery. 

Definition and Description Find out about the integrated circuit, as well as other elementary information about these amazing tools, by going to this Web page. This page also includes links to definitions for many common electronics terms. Webopedia has information about integrated circuits on this definition page. This page includes a clearly written and concise definition, descriptions of subcategories of integrated circuits, and links to other sites related to integrated circuits. Read a detailed article about the evolution of electronics that led to the development of the first integrated circuits at www.maxmon.com/1952ad.htm. This article also contains links to other topics related to the development of integrated circuits.

How Integrated Circuits are Made Learn about integrated circuit manufacturing techniques and technology from the resources on this Web page. The articles found at http://rel.intersil.com and www.pccomputernotes.com trace the evolution of integrated circuit manufacturing techniques, from the first simple chips to today's most advanced techniques. 

Different Applications of Integrated Circuits Although integrated circuit technology has only been available for 50 years, they are used in nearly every modern electronic device. Depending on the complexity of the device, anywhere from one, to hundreds of integrated circuits may be used. For example, a typical PC may include a dozen integrated circuits, while a microwave oven uses just one. The variety of integrated circuits manufactured today nearly matches their number of applications. To get an idea of the amount of variety that exists among integrated circuits, visit www.embeddedlinks.com/chipdir. Here you’ll find an index of most of today's integrated circuits. Another site that highlights the sheer diversity among integrated circuits is this Global Sources page. At this site, you can search their database for an integrated circuit by the manufacturer's name. You will also find descriptions of the companies that make integrated circuits. 

Read about extremely complex integrated circuits at both www.howstuffworks.com/microprocessor.htm and www.howstuffworks.com/ram.htm. These articles describe the most advanced integrated circuit designs in microprocessors and RAM memory chips used in personal computers today. 

Additional Links Would you like to build an apparatus that uses integrated circuits? If so, visit www.webdesk.com/electronic-circuits. Here you will find information and advice about integrated circuit kits that are available for the hobbyist.