Integrated Circuits (Part 1)
In previous videos, we’ve talked about computers such as the ENIAC and the mark one, which were electromechanical computers and electronic computers that had hundreds of components and thousands of individually solder joints. While those machines were very powerful, a failure of any one of those components or joints could cause problems for several hours as engineers tried to solve it.
This problem was really best summed up by Jack Morton, the Vice President of Bell Labs. In 1957. He wrote a paper celebrating the 10th anniversary of the invention of the transistor and said the following. For some time now, electronic man has known how in principle to extend greatly his visual tactile and mental abilities through the digital transmission and processing of all kinds of information. However, all of these functions suffer from what has been called the tyranny of numbers. Such systems because of their complex digital nature, require hundreds, thousands and sometimes 10s have thousands of electronic devices.
All of that changed about a year later due to the work of Jack Kilby. Jack Kilby, he was born in Jefferson City, Missouri, but actually grew up in Great Bend Kansas and was trained as an electrical engineer. In 1958, he was hired by Texas Instruments to try and work on solving this tyranny of numbers problem. Based on his work, he came up with the idea of printing components directly on a circuit board that was made of some sort of semiconductor material. In that way, the joints and the components were all solidly connected together, so that you didn’t have to worry about each individual component or joint failing on the chip. This became known as the integrated circuit. Let’s take a look at another video showing Jack Kilby’s integrated circuit and what it did.