Everything That You Need to Know About Integrated Circuits

From your mobile phone to your refrigerator, all of your most-used electronic appliances have an integrated circuit. Integrated circuits are among the most used pieces of equipment in all modern electronics. Whether you are a tech DIY enthusiast, electrician, or simply interested in the topic, this guide is here to help you learn more about integrated circuits. 

Integrated Circuits

What is an Integrated Circuit?

An integrated circuit is otherwise known as an IC or as a microchip and is a collection of different electronic components that are all located inside a small chip. Resistors, transistors, and capacitors are all connected to perform one particular function. Integrated circuits offer many distinct benefits, the most important of which is their availability in a wide range of complexities, sizes, and characteristics.

Types of Integrated Circuits

If you have ever tried to learn more about integrated circuits via an IC comparison, you will know that there are many different types; so many that it can get quite confusing. Integrated circuits can be split into four subgroups: Digital Integrated Circuits, Analog Integrated Circuits, Mixed-Signal Integrated Circuits, and Three-Dimensional Integrated Circuits. 

Analog Integrated Circuits

Analog ICs function on continuous varying signals; they are most commonly used in manufacturing electronic circuits like amplifiers.

Digital Integrated Circuits

Digital integrated circuits are those that perform logical functions, such as binary inputs. The most common use for Digital Integrated Circuits is in manufacturing monolithic systems, for example, computer software or hardware.

Mixed-Signal Integrated Circuits

This class of IC works on both analog and digital signals within the same chip. Applications for this type of integrated circuit include Ethernet applications and FM tuners.

Three-Dimensional Integrated Circuits

Three-dimensional integrated circuits contain multiple layers of active devices. Three-dimensional Integrated Circuits is a broad term that is used to describe a range of other ICs that fall into this category.

Integrated circuits are also categorized in terms of their size. For example, Ultra Large-Scale integration has more than one million transistors. Whereas a Small-Scale Integration would only have tens of transistors on one chip.

Uses of Integrated Circuits

A man named Jack Kilby invented the first integrated circuit in Texas in 1958. The first integrated circuits were called small-scale integration (SSI) circuits, and they were only able to contain a small number of components. Small-scale integration circuits were used in aerospace projects during the 1960s; for example, they were used in the digital computers for the US Apollo moon mission. Aerospace and some military demands accounted for the majority of the use for the first integrated circuits.

Over time, the ability to increase the number of components that function in an integrated circuit increased, and with this, the use for integrated circuits increases hugely. Today’s use of integrated circuits is now widespread, thanks to the many advantages they offer over traditional electronic circuits. Integrated circuits are now found in every electronic device that uses some form of a microprocessor. This includes mobile phones, smartwatches, computers, gaming stations, radios, microwaves, temperature sensors, and voltage regulators.

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