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integrated circuit

Another name for a chip, an integrated circuit (IC) is a small electronic device made out of a semiconductor material. The first integrated circuit was developed in the 1950s by Jack Kilby of Texas Instrumentsand Robert Noyce of Fairchild Semiconductor.

Integrated circuits are used for a variety of devices, including microprocessors, audio and video equipment, and automobiles. Integrated circuits are often classified by the number of transistors and other electronic components they contain:

  • SSI (small-scale integration):Up to 100 electronic components per chip
  • MSI (medium-scale integration):From 100 to 3,000 electronic components per chip
  • LSI (large-scale integration):From 3,000 to 100,000 electronic components per chip
  • VLSI (very large-scale integration):From 100,000 to 1,000,000 electronic components per chip
  • ULSI (ultra large-scale integration): More than 1 million electronic components per chip

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