An IC is also known as a monolithic integrated circuit. It can also be referred to as a chip, an IC, or a microchip. It is a set of electronic circuits on a small flat piece or chip of semiconductor materials normally in silicon. The integration of large numbers of tiny metal–oxide–semiconductor transistors into a small chip results in circuits that are orders of magnitude tiny, faster, and also less expensive than those constructed of discrete electronic components.
The IC’s has mass production of capability, reliability, and the building block approached to the integrated circuit design, which ensued a rapid adoption of standardized ICs irrespective of methods using discrete transistors.
Today, ICs are used in virtually all electronic equipment. It has revolutionized the world of electronics. In other digital home appliances,computers and mobile phones are now inextricable parts of the structure of modern societies and made possible by the small size and low costs of ICs.
ICs have two main advantages over the discrete circuits .i.e. cost and performance which matters a lot. The IC’s cost is low because of the chips, with all the components, which are printed as a unit by photolithography rather than being constructed one transistors at a time. Secondly, packaged ICs use very less amount of materials when compared to the discrete circuits.
The performance of the IC is very high as the IC’s components switch quickly. It also consumes comparatively little power because of its small size and proximity. If there is an advantage of anything then it will also have some disadvantages. Likewise IC also has disadvantages. The one of the main disadvantages of ICs is the high cost to design them. The fabricate which is required to photomasks. This high initial cost means ICs are only commercially viable when production volumes are anticipated.
Integrated circuits are classified as digital, analog and mixed signals consisting of both analog and digital signalling on the same IC. Digital integrated circuits contain anywhere from one to billions of logic gates, flip-flops, multiplexers and other circuits in a few square millimeters. This allows high speeds, low power dissipation, and it also reduces manufacturing cost compared with board level integration. Analog ICs such as power management circuits, sensors, and operational amplifiers.
They work by processing continuous signals. They perform analog functions such as the active filtering, amplification, demodulation, and mixing. It helps to ease the burden on circuit designers by having exactly designed analog circuits available instead of designing and constructing a difficult analog circuit from a scratch. There is mixed signal circuits. ICs combined the digital and analog circuits on a single chip to create functions such analog-to-digital converters and digital-to-analog converters. This mixed signals circuit provides smaller size and also lowers cost, but must carefully account for signal interference.
Digital ICs are further sub categorised as logic ICs such as( microprocessors and microcontrollers ), memory chips such as (MOS memory and floating gate memory), interface ICs ( level shutters, serializers, etc), power management ICs and Programmable devices.
Analog ICs are further sub categorised as linear integrated circuits and RF circuits( radio frequency circuits). Mixed signal integrated circuits are further sub categorised as data acquisition ICS( including A/D converters, D/A converters , digital Potentiometres), clock /timing ICs, switched capacitor (SC) circuits, and RF CMOS circuits. Three-dimensional integrated circuits (3D ICs) are further sub categorised into through- silicon via (TSV) ICs and CU -CU connection ICs.
There are few inventions which have proven to be one of the most important Integrate Circuits. The idea was proved very difficult to implement a simple idea to integrate the individual transistors into a single circuit.
It was first conceived in 1952 by Geoffrey Drummer; then it was first implemented by Jack Kirby on August 28 1958, who wire bonded 3 transistors together into what today would be called as a system in a package (SIP). It wasn’t until Robert Noyce merged Jean Hoerni’s planar process with the idea that the modern integrated circuit was invented.
Noyce ( upper right) and Fairchild would go on to introduce the world’s first ICs which is the lower right. Noyce’s patent ushered in the information age. It also ignited a legendary California / Texas feud between Fairchild Semiconductor and Tl.
The IC inventions history dates :
- In 1949 , Werner Jacobi patents integrated amplifier at Siemens.
- In May 7, 1952 Geoffrey Drummer ,who first conceived a monolithic integrated circuit in 1952 .
- In December 1,1952 the bipolar planar technology was conceived by Jean Hoern Hoerni .
- In August 28, 1958 Jack Kilby first implemented a heterogeneous IC of transistors wire-bonded together . Late 1958 Kurt Lehovec convinces, of a way to isolate transistors in Silicon. Patent field April 22 1959
- In January 23 1959 1st planner Integrated Circuit with lithographically patterned metal interconnect described in Robert N. Noyce’s notebook . This would become the basis for all modern Integrated Circuit Technology.
- In March12 , 1959. First planar transistor prototype which was made by Hoerni. This would become the 2N1613 planar transistor announced by Fairchild semiconductor in April 1960.
- In september 27,1960. Jay Last’s group successfully yields as integrated circuits.
Integrated circuit or IC can be worked as a small chip that can function as an amplifier, oscillator, timer, microprocessor or even as a computer memory. It is like a small wafer, usually made up of silicon, that can be holded anywhere from hundreds to millions of resistors, capacitors and transistors.