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Integrated circuit

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Circuit, originating in Latin circuitus, is a concept with several uses and meanings. The term allows to refer to the path in a sharp curve, the route that ends at the starting point or the terrain located within a perimeter.

Integrated On the other hand, it comes from the verb to integrate (complete a whole with the missing parts, make something become part of a whole, constitute a whole).

In the electronics , a Integrated circuit is a combination of elements of a circuit that are miniaturized and that are part of the same chip or support . The notion, therefore, is also used as a synonym for chip or microchip .

The integrated circuit is made with a semiconductor material , on which electronic circuits are manufactured through photolithography. These circuits, which occupy a few millimeters, are protected by an encapsulation with metallic conductors that allow establishing the Connection between said semiconductor material tablet and the printed circuit.

There are several types of integrated circuits. Among the most advanced and popular can be mentioned microprocessors , which are used to control from computers until mobile phones and home appliances .

Integrated circuits can be classified in various ways. It is possible to talk about monolithic circuits (manufactured in a single monocrystal, usually silicon), the thin layer hybrid circuits (with components that exceed monolithic technology) and hybrid circuits of cap gross (without capsules, with resistances deposited by screen printing and laser cutting).

Another classification is made according to the number of components and the level of integration. Integrated circuits, in this case, are known by their acronym in English: SSI (Small Scale Integration), M: YES (Medium Scale Integration), etc.

History of the integrated circuit

Many interacting microelectronic devices, especially transistors and diodes, without neglecting passive components such as capacitors and resistors take advantage of integrated circuit technology, whose history It dates back to the late 1950s, when an engineer named Jack St. Clair Kilby developed the first prototype for the Texas Instruments company.

Until then, the teams electronics used to consist of vacuum tubes (also called electronic or thermionic valves, among others of their names), a component used to switch, modify or amplify an electrical signal by controlling the movement of electrons with the help of certain gases or in a space with A very low pressure. However, thanks to Kilby's work, the active and passive components began to be located on the same metal surface whose dimensions were tens of times smaller than those of a single vacuum tube.

The first integrated circuit developed Kilby was manufactured on a square germanium pill; each side measured 6 millimeters and made it up a capacitor, three resistors and a transistor. The debut was a success, which allowed this revolutionary engineer to continue researching and improving his invention. It is worth mentioning that the name "chip" derives from the homonymous English term used to refer to splinters, among other things.

But the passage of vacuum tubes to semiconductors was not a coincidence, but relied on a series of experiments that demonstrated the usefulness of the latter to replace the former in terms of functionality, occupying a fraction of their size. This breakthrough, which makes it seem like the reality that precedes it of an absurdity, gained strength in a short time, thanks to the fact that integrated circuits began occur en masse and the world could see that in addition to their obvious advantage over the valves, they were reliable and easy to complex.

As of today, we found this technology in microprocessors of devices as disparate as computers and mobile phones, and also in digital memories, which use a chip instead of mechanical parts.

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