Chapter 1

Introducing Integrated Circuits

IN THIS CHAPTER

check Examining the workings of integrated circuits

check Looking at IC packages

check Learning how to use ICs in your circuits

check Looking at the most popular types of integrated circuits

On April 25, 1961, an engineer named Robert Noyce in Palo Alto, CA, got word that a patent application he had submitted a year before was finally approved. The patent was for a new type of device which would soon come to be known as an integrated circuit.

Exactly one month later, on May 25, President John F. Kennedy announced to the world that the United States was going to the moon.

What do these two events have in common? A lot. Without the integrated circuit, it’s doubtful NASA could have pulled off Kennedy’s challenge.

In May 1961, NASA had no idea how to get to the moon. But one thing NASA did know was that its moonship would need a computer like none the world had ever seen before. NASA would have to figure out a way to shrink a computer that at the time filled an entire room into a box about the size of a picnic basket.

And so the very first contract ...

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