The first integrated circuit



The only thing is that this is not an integrated circuit at all. It’s a proof of concept, in that all the components are made of silicon. The wiring is another matter.

Bob Noyce at Fairchild patented an actual integrated circuit, with metal lines plated on the silicon instead of the wires of Kilby’s invention. The resulting patent litigation made many lawyers rich.

Similarly, the 1946 ENIAC was not anything like the computers we use today, but Turing et al’s 1948 Manchester Baby is thoroughly modern in its architecture.

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Wow, Kilby writes well: simple, clear, and straight-forward. He doesn’t claim to have originated fully integrated circuits, or even the idea of integrated circuits. With respect to Dummer’s concept of making multiple circuit elements on (within) the same substrate:

My contribution was taking this idea and making it a practical reality.

Kilby’s IC as shown here was done on germanium, not silicon; it was the first actual integrated circuit to contain all the components on one substrate. It wasn’t a modern IC; it was, however, the first.


It’s gooier than I imagined.

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