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What are Integrated Circuits ( IC )

Post by Jawad Ahmad Riaz

Introduction to ICs

An integrated circuit is a micro electronic circuit which is also known as silicone circuit. Integrated circuits are an important component of almost all electronic devices today. This magic circuit has revolutionized the world of electronics form desktop PCs to palm tops and many more.


History of Integrated Circuits
The experiments performed on semi conductors revealed that they can perform the variety of vacuum tube functions. The incorporation of bulk of puny transistors on a small chip was a major leap in manually assembling electronic components on a really small circuit. Mass production and efficiency of Integrated Circuits greatly replaced the discrete transistors from many devices. The two main features of integrated circuits like low cost and high performance gave it edge over the discrete transistors. The low cost is associated to the bulk production and printing using photolithography. The material used in constructing an IC is less than that used in discrete circuits. The high performance can be contributed to the quick switching and low power consumption. The idea of IC was developed by the scientists working for Royal Radar. The idea propagated further when Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce working separately brought a remarkable invention. The chips made by both of them were meant to perform same functions whereas the material used was not the same. Noyce made a silicone chip and the Kilby manufactured a germanium chip. The development in this field was not new it was in 1949 when the first idea related to integrated chip came to view. From then onwards the development and growth is continued.


Integrated circuts

Applications of Integrated circuts.

Integrated circuits today have become ubiquitous. It seems that it was this invention which has led to the growth in technology. This remarkable invention has helped companies and manufacturers of electronic devices to design and introduce new and advance products. It can be said that it was due to the micro chips that we can use portable digital devices today. The integrated chip is an important component of laptops, palm tops, MP3s, playstaions, mobile phones, net books and an unlimited array of electronic devices. The existence of all modern communication and electronic devices is based today on the use of integrated circuits. This chip is small but really efficient and swift when it comes to the performance. It is due to this desirable feature that it is part of almost all cell phones and we carry them anywhere in the world without being worrying about performance decline.


Taxonomy of Integrated Circuits

The integrated circuits can be divided into three broad categories like digital ICs, analog ICs and mixed signal ICs. Digital integrated circuits contain many flip flops, multiplexers and logic gates in a single chip comprising only few millimeters. This small size has provided its edge over all other technologies. Therefore, the manufactures of digital devices now prefer it over discrete transistors. These small chips consume less power and they are efficient. The manufacturing of these circuits help in reducing manufacturing cost due to the wide scale integration. The working of the digital microchips is guided by the binary mathematical process in the form of 1 and 0 signals. On the contrary the analog micro circuits work by continuous flow of signals. The various examples of analog circuits include power management circuits, sensors and operational amplifiers. These integrated circuits are used for performing functions like active filtering, demodulation, amplification and mixing. The expertly designed analog circuits remove the need for manufacturing an entirely new circuit from abrasion. This provides the facility to the mobile phone manufactures to buy and install the IC instead of preparing one. The digital and analog circuits can be combined in on one chip to enhance the performance.


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