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# What Is An Integrated Circuit?

## Introduction

An Integrated Circuit is defined as a circuit which contains elements that are inseparable and interconnected electrically in such a way that the IC cannot be divided for the purpose of commerce and construction. A myriad of technologies can be used to construct such a circuit. Today what we call an IC, however, was initially known as monolithic integrated circuit. It is believed that Kilby created the first working IC back in 1958 and he won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2000 for his efforts. The first customer for this invention was the US Air Force.

## How Does An Integrated Circuit?

The integrated circuit uses a semiconductor material (read chip) as the working table and usually silicon is selected for the task. Afterwards, electrical components such as diodes, transistors and resistors etc. are added to this chip in minimized form. The silicon is known as a wafer in this assembly and then, electrical components are joined together in such a way they are able to carry out multiple tasks and calculations.

## Types Of Integrated Circuits

### 1. Digital Integrated Circuits

This type of IC has two defined levels; 1’s and 0’s that implies that they work on binary mathematics where 1 stands for on and 0 stands for off. Such ICs are capable of containing more than millions of flip flops, logic gates and what not, all incorporated onto a single chip. Examples of digital IC include microcontrollers and microprocessors.

• Logic ICs
• Memory Chips,
• Interface ICs (level shifters, serializer/de-serializer, etc.)
• Power Management ICs
• Programmable Devices

This particular type of IC works by tackling continuous signals and is capable of performing tasks such as filtering, amplification, demodulation and modulation etc. Sensors, OP-AMP’s are basically Analog ICs.

• Linear ICs
• RF ICs

### 3. Mixed Signal

When digital and analog ICs are used on a single chip; the resultant IC is known as mixed signal integrated circuits.

• Data Acquisition ICs (including A/D converters, D/A converter, digital potentiometers)
• Clock/timing ICs

## Applications Of Integrated Circuits

• Wristwatches
• Televisions
• Juice Makers
• PC
• Video Processors
• Audio Amplifiers
• Memory Devices
• Logic Devices
• Radio Frequency Encoders and Decoders

## Precautionary Measures

• Static electricity can damage the IC and therefore, you need to get rid of any static charges.
• Don’t expose the IC to overdose of voltage.
• ICs should not be subjected to work in temperature range for which they are not designed.

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