Integrated Circuits - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Computer Sciences

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Integrated circuits are electronic devices that contain many transistors, resistors, capacitors, and connecting wires in one package. Integrated circuits, also called ICs or chips, were invented in 1959 and have become critical components in virtually all electronic devices, including computers, radios, televisions, and videocassette recorders. The microprocessor is the most complex integrated circuit, and also the most complex single device of any kind, ever produced.

Integrated circuits are produced on a piece of semiconductor crystal. As its name implies, a semiconductor is a material that conducts electricity better than an insulator, but not as well as a conductor. The conductivity can be adjusted by introducing other elements into the crystal during manufacture. Conductivity is also changed by applying an electric field to the crystal.

Elements Used as Semiconductors

Silicon is the most commonly used semiconductor. It is the second most common element in the Earth's...

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This section contains 1,162 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Integrated Circuits Encyclopedia Article
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