The Integrated Circuit Patented

50 years ago today, Robert Noyce was granted a patent for a “Semiconductor Device-and-Lead Structure,” a type of integrated circuit made of Silicon. Integrated circuits are used in virtually all electronic equipment today and have revolutionized the world of electronics. The integration of large numbers of tiny transistors into a small chip was an enormous improvement over the manual assembly of circuits using electronic components. The integrated circuit’s mass production capability, reliability, and building-block approach to circuit design ensured the rapid adoption of standardized ICs in place of designs using discrete transistors.

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