An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as IC, chip, or microchip) is an electronic circuit manufactured by the patterned diffusion of trace elements into the surface of a thin substrate of semiconductor material. Additional materials are deposited and patterned to form interconnections between semiconductor devices.
Integrated circuits are used in virtually all electronic equipment today and have revolutionized the world of electronics. Computers, cell phones, and other digital appliances are now inextricable parts of the structure of modern societies, made possible by the low cost of production of integrated circuits. continue..

Integrated circuits (ICs) are, much as their name would suggest, small circuits integrated into a plastic "chip." They provide a handy source of rich functionality in a tiny package. The ICs used in BEAMbots are really fairly simple -- often just consisting of multiple copies of a simple 2- or 3-element circuit, in a small, handy, package. This means that they are simple, easy to learn "circuit blocks," rather than very complex "black boxes".Think of them as just a natural progression from circuits built from discrete components. continue..

In 1959 both parties applied for patents. Jack Kilby and Texas Instruments received U.S. patent #3,138,743 for miniaturized electronic circuits. Robert Noyce and the Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation received U.S. patent #2,981,877 for a silicon based integrated circuit. The two companies wisely decided to cross license their technologies after several years of legal battles, creating a global market now worth about $1 trillion a year. continue..

Have you ever heard of a 1940s computer called the ENIAC? It was about the same length and weight as three to four double-decker buses and contained 18,000 buzzing electronic switches known as vacuum tubes. Despite its gargantuan size, it was thousands of times less powerful than a modern laptop—a machine about 100 times smaller. continue..

Integrated circuits (IC) are usually referred to as chips. Inside them is a tiny piece of semiconductor(usually silicon) with large circuits built in. There are millions of different integrated circuits. The general types of integrated circuits include:
Logic circuits- These IC's are basically decision makers. most contain logic gate circuits. (logic gates will be discussed in a later section).
Comparators- These IC's compare inputs and gives an output.
Operational Amplifiers- These are amplifiers. Works very much like transistor amplifier circuits.
Audio amplifiers- These are used to amplify audio.
Timers- These are counting IC's used for circuits that counts or needs to keep track of time.
Switches- Switching IC's are also very much like the switching circuits of transistors.
Other- There are thousands of other types. A lot of IC's are made for a special
purpose like digital sound recording. Most IC's come with pinout
information and how to use it. If not, you'll need one of those large
reference books that have info on most of the IC's.. continue..

IC’s are present everywhere in today’s world from a small calculator, cellular phone to Rocket launching systems. Consumer electronics is growing each and every day and IC’s are one of the main reasons for the development of various products like cellular phones, game consoles like X-box, WII and play station, television, digital cameras etc. So in this article let us discuss about this amazing invention, their evolution and what the IC's are capable of.. continue..

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