Who made the first integrated circuits? Recently, when I was searching the Web for that information, I came across a site that claimed that it depended upon what was meant by 'first' - first idea, first laboratory sample, first commercial production, first commercial success? What they did not seem to realise is that the answer also depends upon what you mean by 'integrated'.
In the pages linked off this one, I am going to try to answer this more general question. Some might argue that my definition of 'integration' is too loose, and that I have extended it to cover wider circuit packaging technologies. I don't really mind, I think the subject is an interesting one, about which there is some other information on the Web, but very few organised pages such as this.
In my wider view, the first integrated circuits were in fact packaged circuits, where a set of discrete components was assembled into a 'module' of some kind, that was then used in a larger circuit. The module may or may not be 'potted' to form a single pseudo-component. Click on the image for further details.
The second type of integrated circuits were hybrid circuits, which again assemble a set of discrete components, but these are sub-miniature devices that are fixed onto a common substrate and interconnected. Click on the image for further details.
Finally there are monolithic integrated circuits, where a single die of silicon contains the entire circuit. Click on the image for further details.
Of course, there are some strange devices that I cannot identify. Click on the image for further details.
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