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.
Object Name
integrated circuit
date made
1958
maker
Texas Instruments
Kilby, Jack S.
Physical Description
germanium (substrate material)
aluminum (terminals material)
gold (wire material)
Measurements
overall: .5 cm x 1.8 cm x 2.5 cm; 3/16 in x 23/32 in x 31/32 in
ID Number
1987.0487.320
accession number
1987.0487
collector/donor number
G00012
catalog number
1987.0487.320
subject
Computers & Business Machines
American Stories exhibit
See more items in
Work and Industry: Electricity
American Stories exhibit
Exhibition
Inventing In America
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
from Texas Instruments
Additional Media

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