Kilby's original integrated circuit

Kilby's original integrated circuit

In 1958, engineers Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments and Robert Noyce of Fairchild Semiconductor invented integrated circuits that were nearly identical in design. The idea of circuit integration is attributed to a British radar engineer, Robert Dummer. In 1952, Dummer envisioned a wireless electronic processing instrument constructed as a block of “insulating, conducting, rectifying and amplifying materials.” Six years later, Kilby produced a working prototype made of germanium. His California competitor followed shortly with an improved design. Kilby earned a Nobel Prize in Prize in Physics, in 2000, but Noyce was granted the key patent. The invention eventually permitted electronics manufacturers to install millions of transistors and other circuit elements on a single “chip” or wafer of silicon. The year of 1958 marked the eclipse of Boston’s electronics and computing industries by Western upstarts. The center of high tech gravity began moving to Silicon Valley.

Jack Kilby

Jack Kilby

Robert Noyce

Robert Noyce