• Poornima Mani

Integrated Circuits

Updated: Dec 1, 2020

Integrated Circuits are have become one of the most important and unavoidable parts of any circuit. It consists of a set of #electronic circuits and many electronic components such as resistors, capacitors, #transistors, etc on a semiconductor base.




A brief history


Integrated Circuits and its development was very quick. Moore, a scientist at Fairchild Semiconductor predicted that the number of #transistors in a single IC would double in about every two years which turned out to be very true.


The first IC was invented by Jack Kilby who was working at Texas Instruments and made multiple trials of an IC in a germanium base and later worked it out on semiconductor bases. In 1958, he successfully made one of the finest circuits which not only produced high yields but also rescued the company from going into shutdown.


The first IC designed by Kilby

Robert Noyce, who was working at Fairchild during this period reasoned that this was illogical and used his knowledge in transistor production and laid foundations for the current IC technology.


Classification of Integrated Chips


Integrated Circuits can be classified on many grounds. Let us check out a few classifications.

In this article, let us understand the classification based on the chip size of the #IntegratedCircuit.


Small Scale Integration: SSI was one of the first kinds of ICs that was developed long back which had transistors ranging from 2-10 in number.

Medium Scale Integration: These are the type that has around 100 transistors in a single IC; i.e. 3-300 gates per chip.

Large Scale Integration: These have around 100 transistors and contain 300-3000 gates in a single chip.

Very Large Scale Integration: This one is special as it was the turning point to make a successful microprocessor. They consist of 1-4 Million transistors and more than 3000 gates in a single chip.

Ultra Large Scale Integration: This technology is where so many (in the range of millions and billions) are embedded on a single silicon chip and was exclusively used for the development of the Intel 8086 series. A few examples to name are Intel 486 and Pentium processors.


Why Integrated Circuits?


  1. Though an entire IC consists of multiple circuits inside of it, the size is really small and aligns with the idea of minimalistic components. It is also really lightweight and can be relied upon most of the time.

  2. Integrated Circuits a very small amount of power and can also be replaced easily. They're a great advantage in operational speed due to the absence of parasitic and capacitance effects.

  3. These components are used in electronics as a part of our everyday life. Due to mass production, these come at a minimal cost that is affordable and can even be used to do everyday hobby projects.

  4. Operating temperatures are an important factor that makes integrated circuits stand out. They have a higher operating temperature ranges and can even be used in extreme conditions.


A circuit board which has multiple ICs designed accordingly


The most commonly used Integrated Circuits


Timer IC: This is a monolithic IC that is capable of producing the right timing cycles of different duty cycles. The first of its kind was developed by Signetic Corporation back in the '70s. The 555 timer IC is very popular and is used in labs quite often. They are also used as pulse generators or oscillators.


NE556N Dual Timer IC

Voltage Regulator ICs: Their function is to maintain constant DC output voltage in the output irrespective of #voltage fluctuations. Common regulators LM105, 78XX series, uA723 provide consistent DC output.


Types of Voltage Regulator ICs

OpAmps: These are high gain voltage amplifiers that consist of an inverting and non-inverting output. They may have a single-ended output as well as a differential output and can perform mathematical, linear, and non-linear functions.


LM358 OpAmp IC

Logic Gate ICs: Kept the best for the last. These are some of the most widely used ICs that are capable of taking many inputs and give out a single output.

TTL and CMOS logic gates are the most commonly used ones that come in the 7400 series.


Digital Logic Gates

Integrated Circuits is a huge topic and cannot be limited to a single article. Bu this read should have given you a beginner-level understanding upon which you could build up the knowledge.


See Also:

  1. UART Communication

  2. What is Electricity?

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