The Microchip

The Microchip

Smaller than a fingernail, Microchips are integrated circuits providing computer circuitry that is one of the most important inventions of the human race.

A microchip is basically an interconnected circuitry of transistors and resistors etched on semiconducting material like germanium or silicon. The Microprocessor of a computer, and the computer memory, both contain microchip circuits. Most modern gadgets contain this piece of technology.

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  • Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce are credited for the creation of microchips.
  • In 1959, Texas Instruments received the patent for mini electronic circuits, and inventor Jack Kilby rose to prominence.
  • Apart from the mini chips, he also invented the calculator and holds more than 60 patents.
  • A company of Robert Noyce, Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation, got the silicon chips patented. He later founded the company Intel.

Built on multiple layers, microchip makers use a process called photolithography using chemicals and light. It is generally covered with a thin layer of aluminium.

Apart from computers and laptops, Smartphones are the most common electronic devices carrying a whole lot of chips. Television sets, GPS devices, ID cards and Air Force missiles use this technology.

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