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Catalog Data

Texas Instruments  Search this
Kilby, Jack S.  Search this
Physical Description:
germanium (substrate material)
aluminum (terminals material)
gold (wire material)
overall: .5 cm x 1.8 cm x 2.5 cm; 3/16 in x 23/32 in x 31/32 in
Object Name:
integrated circuit
Date made:
Description (Brief):
Jack Kilby’s demonstration of the first working integrated circuit (IC) in 1958 revolutionized the field of microelectronics. Instead of using discrete transistors, resistors, and capacitors to form a circuit, Kilby’s IC design integrated a transistor, a capacitor, and the equivalent of three resistors all on the same chip. Kilby fabricated three types of circuits to test his idea: a flip flop, a multi vibrator and a phase shift oscillator. This chip is the phase-shift oscillator.
The first IC was made out of a thin slice of germanium (the light blue rectangle) as a bulk resistor and contained a single bipolar transistor (under the large aluminum bar in the center). It had four input/output terminals (the small vertical aluminum bars), a ground (the large bar on the far right), and wires of gold. The microchips of today have been improved by hundreds of innovations, but Kilby’s prototype was an important early step.
Credit Line:
from Texas Instruments
ID Number:
Accession number:
Collector/donor number:
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Work and Industry: Electricity
Computers & Business Machines
American Stories exhibit
Inventing In America
Exhibition Location:
National Museum of American History
Data Source:
National Museum of American History