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Integrated Circuits


Dawn of the IC Era

Japan began mass-producing transistors, which had been developed in the United States in the late 1940s, and promoted significant improvements to the high-frequency characteristics and reliability. In U.S., two basic inventions regarding the integrated circuits (ICs) were created by 1959, opening the stage to the IC era.

1958: Invention of the semiconductor integrated circuit (Jack Kilby, Texas Instruments Incorporated, U.S.A.)

Jack Kilby of TI invented the semiconductor integrated circuit. This involved creating electronic circuits on a semiconductor substrate by forming multiple circuit elements, such as resistors and transistors, and it became the basic patent for ICs.

Photo of World’s First IC Developed by Jack Kilby

1959: Invention of the planar IC (Robert Noyce, Fairchild Semiconductor, U.S.A.)

Robert N. Noyce of Fairchild invented the planar IC. This involved forming multiple transistors, resistors, and capacitors on a silicon wafer, connecting them by Al conducting pattern over the silicon dioxide film formed in the impurity diffusion process, to form a circuit on a silicon die. This, together with the Kilby patent, became the basic patent for ICs