July 1958: Kilby Conceives the Integrated Circuit – IEEE Spectrum


In 1958, 11 years after Bell Labs reinvented the transistor, it became clear that semiconductors would be able to conquer the electronics market only if they could be greatly miniaturized.

In July1958, Jack S. Kilby of Texas Instruments came up with the monolithic idea. In January 1959, Robert Noyce was to jot in his lab notebook an improved version of the very same idea.

Kilby stressed that “there is no limit upon the complexity or configuration of circuits which can be made in this manner.” By 1971, basic integrated circuits had matured into simple microprocessors.

Today worldwide semiconductor sales have reached about US $350 billion a year.


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