The Silicon IC 50th Anniversary

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first silicon integrated circuit patent. We should not have to explain how important the integrated circuit to this crowd, but it is the biggest thing in electronics since sliced bread.

[Robert Noyce] received the landmark patent on April 25th 1961, and went on to found a little known company you might of heard of (along with [Gordon Moore]), Intel Corporation. He was not the first to invent the IC, that privilege goes to [Jack Kilby] of Texas Instruments, though that design was using a germanium wafer. Silicon has many advantages over previous technology and has become the main technology of IC’s even 50 years later fueling the electronics, computer and mobile industries.

Check out the little article above, and also be sure to check out this video on IC construction we posted about a few months ago from the other company [Robert Noyce] help co-found, Fairchild Semiconductor.


  1. John W says:

    Might HAVE heard of. Yeesh.

  2. Ross says:

    anyone care to venture a guess what the IC’s in the picture are?

  3. matt says:

    that video has been in my tabs since it was first posted, still not watched. its there with the wave coupling D:

  4. macw says:

    Click on the first link and look at the picture of that SMD. Is that a, uh, standard soldering technique?

  5. Jeff Epler says:

    This page explains that the device on the left is a “bistable RS (Reset/Set) Flip-Flop constructed using four NPN bipolar transistors”. It shows a labeled diagram and an equivalent circuit that should be understandable to anyone familiar with basic transistor circuits.

  6. daqq says:

    @Ross: If you mean the one here on hackaday, the circular one, challenge accepted :-) . After some guessing, assuming, simulating and reverse engineering I’ve come up with this schematic:

    It’s an RTL flip flop! It even works in the simulation… kinda…

  7. Aaron says:

    Looks to me like a perfectly reasonable way of tying unused pins to ground, macw — note that each solder bridge has a pin connected to a trace, at least one of which enters a via I’m guessing goes to a ground plane on the other side of the board.

    Or something like that, anyway.

  8. localroger says:

    I hate to break it to the author of the short article but the IC did not mark the “birth of the computing industry.” There had been a computing industry around for nearly 20 years by then. Sure, the computers they were making were slow, filled a whole room, took kilowatts of power, and were so expensive only a government or multinational corporation could afford one, but they did exist. The IC was only one of several breakpoints, some before and some after the IC, which suddenly advanced the art.

  9. Interesting to note that around the same time, tunnel (aka Esaki) diodes were just getting interesting.

  10. Max says:

    I honestly find it highly amusing that inventors of “landmark” technical stuff are so highly popularized and proudly touted. All history has shown is that technical progress always depended on the current state of the art, not at all on the actual person.

    Had the original inventor never exist, someone would still have come up with the exact same invention roughly 60 seconds later. Remember the good old Bell telephone…? Less than 24 hours.

    Same with the dynamo, the aeroplane, the jet engine, the TV and so an. Who invented them pretty much depends on what nation you ask – and they are all right, in a way. Multiple people did, around the same time.

    …but I digress; sorry, one of my pet peeves. Nice nostalgic moment though!

  11. Olivier says:

    @Max: it’s called redundancy. In case the original author dies right before giving his invention to the world, there’s still someone else who has the same idea.

  12. Mike of England says:

    Yes, hi all, thats a iCore 20 sextuplet processor with 1 terrabyte cache!

    I have a dozen of those in my scrap bin.



  13. JediTalian says:

    if i have blinky nippLEDs in my artificially-enhanced jugs, that would be a Silicone IC, no?

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