Texas Instruments, found in 1930, produces a wide range of electronics and hardware. It’s a global semiconductor company that develops, tests, and sells analogue and embedded processor chips. The company is also well known for its invention of DMD chips and Digital signal processor technology.
What led Jack Kilby to build the integrated Circuit?
In his book, The Chip, author T.R. Reid shares how difficult it was to build a computer in the early 50s.
“In the early ’50s, you could design a computer that could do anything. You could design it, but you couldn’t build it. And the reason was that there were just too many separate parts that had to be wired together; the numbers of parts and connections were too great. The common name for this problem was ‘the tyranny of numbers.’ We can perceive of that device but we can’t build it because the numbers are too great.” – T.R. Reid
Things were about to change soon. In the Summer of 1958, Jack Kilby, an electrical engineer joined Texas Instruments. He was a new employee, and while the rest of his department took the annual two-week leave, Kilby stayed back in the office.
While the office was deserted, Kilby studied how to effectively and efficiently reduce the numbers. Every computer of that time had miles and miles of wiring in it. That’s when it hit Kilby that there wasn’t really any need for wires. If they could make the parts all out of the same material, they could just carve the whole thing into one block of that material and there would be no need for wires.
The result was the integrated circuit (IC), which is also known as Microchip. This invention reduced the “tyranny of numbers” to one. Now engineers could design a computer that could do anything. And they could build it small enough to fit in your pocket.
The invention of the integrated circuit was the genesis of almost every electronic product used today. The Chip is used in everything, from cell phones to modems, to Internet audio players.
In December 2000, Kilby received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his part in the invention of the integrated circuit. To congratulate him, President Bill Clinton wrote, “You can take pride in the knowledge that your work will help to improve lives for generations to come.”