Microchip Celebrates 50th Today!

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Microchip Celebrates 50th Today!

microchip kilby_solid_circuit.jpg
Notebooks, smart phones, Blu-ray players -- name a gadget, and it probably wouldn't exist today without the tiny little integrated circuit (IC).

Not only did the IC give rise to the modern consumer electronics industry, but it has also kept that industry moving at breakneck speed, allowing for cheaper, smaller and more-powerful chips to be produced year after year with dazzling consistency.

So, it's easy to forget that it's only been five decades since Texas Instruments' Jack Kilby demonstrated the first working IC, a discovery that earned him a Nobel Prize for Physics in 2000. (That's the little baby in the photo above.)

While that device started out as nothing more than a single transistor with a smattering of other components on a thin slice of germanium --  -- its silicon progeny now contain hundreds of transistors in a space the size of a single red blood cell. 

So let's fill that cake with candles and blow them all out -- we have great reason to celebrate! 

More at Wired.

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