Integrated Circuit (IC)


Community Submission - Author: Caner Taçoğlu

An integrated circuit (IC) is a small chip, typically made of silicon, that holds a set of electronic parts such as transistors, resistors or capacitors. Such small chips are widely used today and are present in most of the electronic devices. They can perform calculations, and also function as microprocessors, amplifiers, oscillators, and data storage. Integrated circuits are reliable and can be produced in very large scales. Since they are relatively cheap, they played and still play an important role in the continued evolution and development of electronics worldwide.

Integrated circuits can have billions of transistors in a very small area. Due to the technological advancements made with these small chips, modern computers became considerably more efficient when compared to older computers. Computers use digital integrated circuits that work with binary values of 1 and 0. Basically, low signals mean 0 and high signals mean 1. Analog integrated circuits are used in radios or audio tools which takes an input value and creates an output value.

Before the invention of integrated circuits, discrete circuits were being used. Discrete circuits were individual transistors, resistors or capacitors and they were usually wired together which took more time and they were subject to physical instability. After integrated circuits were invented, they performed better than discrete circuits and they were considerably more affordable. In addition to cost and performance, ICs use much fewer resources to perform similar tasks. 

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