Jack Kilby's Integrated Circuit

<< >>
Description (Brief)
Jack Kilby’s demonstration of the first working integrated circuit (IC) in 1958 revolutionized the field of microelectronics. Instead of using discrete transistors, resistors, and capacitors to form a circuit, Kilby’s IC design integrated a transistor, a capacitor, and the equivalent of three resistors all on the same chip. Kilby fabricated three types of circuits to test his idea: a flip flop, a multi vibrator and a phase shift oscillator. This chip is the phase-shift oscillator.
The first IC was made out of a thin slice of germanium (the light blue rectangle) as a bulk resistor and contained a single bipolar transistor (under the large aluminum bar in the center). It had four input/output terminals (the small vertical aluminum bars), a ground (the large bar on the far right), and wires of gold. The microchips of today have been improved by hundreds of innovations, but Kilby’s prototype was an important early step.
date made
Texas Instruments
Kilby, Jack S.
Physical Description
germanium (substrate material)
aluminum (terminals material)
gold (wire material)
overall: .5 cm x 1.8 cm x 2.5 cm; 3/16 in x 23/32 in x 31/32 in
ID Number
accession number
collector/donor number
catalog number
Credit Line
from Texas Instruments
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
Computers & Business Machines
American Stories exhibit
Inventing In America
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History


Add a comment about this object