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Definition: integrated circuit

The formal name for the chip. In 1958, Texas Instruments inventor Jack Kilby demonstrated the first electronic circuit in which more than one transistor was fabricated on a single piece of semiconductor material. See chip.

The First Integrated Circuit
About a half inch wide, this archaic-looking collection of two transistors mounted on a bar of germanium was nonetheless the first integrated circuit. It was demonstrated by TI on September 12, 1958. (Image courtesy of Texas Instruments, Inc.)

Seven Years Later
This amplifier circuit from Siemens was mass produced in 1965. Containing three transistors and five resistors on a 1.5 square millimeter chip, it was a world of sophistication compared to the two-transistor breakthough seven years earlier. (Image courtesy of Siemens AG, www.siemens.com)