Integrated Circuits

712 Words2 Pages

In the 1940’s, computers took up entire buildings, but now computers in cell phones are much more powerful, efficient, and smaller than the machines in the 1940’s. This evolution of the computer and other electronics can be attributed to the invention of the integrated circuit. These are also commonly referred to as “microchips” and have been refined since they were invented to become smaller and more powerful. Integrated circuits are one of the greatest inventions of last century due to its profound influence on technology through the miniaturization and optimization of electronics.

To understand the monumental influence integrated circuits have in technology, one must understand what kind of technology society had before. Many computers in the 1950’s used something called vacuum tubes. These tubes were used in controlling electrical signals but were big (about the size of a cell phone), sometimes unreliable, and used a fair amount of power. Next came transistors (about the size of a coin), which greatly reduced the size of electronics because they were able to fit on circuit boards which made computers more readily available but these circuit boards still had to be assembled manually. The creation of integrated circuits was a vast improvement over other circuit boards and these small chips led to giant leaps in technology.

One of the most important reasons why integrated circuits are so vital to technology is the process by which they are made. Integrated circuits are usually printed on pure silicon wafers. These wafers are made by “growing” silicon dioxide on a wafer. The chips are then layered and doped. Doping is used to change the conductivity of the silicon by implanting ions. These chips consist of many la...

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... accessed easier than ever before. In fact, there has been countless ways that integrated circuits have in some way, shape, or form helped to improve life in our world. Everyone who lives on the Earth today, whether they realize it or not, has been impacted by these chips. Who knew something so small could leave such a large impact on technology and our lives.

Works Cited

"Computer." Wikipedia. 6 Oct. 2007. 7 Oct. 2007 .

"How Chips are Made." Intel. 7 Oct. 2007 .

"Integrated Circuit." Wikipedia. 7 Oct. 2007. 7 Oct. 2007 .

"Transistor." Wikipedia. 7 Oct. 2007. 7 Oct. 2007 .

"Vacuum Tube." Wikipedia. 5 Oct. 2007. 7 Oct. 2007 .

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