Integrated Circuit 1

Integrated Circuit Inventor Bob Noyce Joseph Krzywicki UTIL 1020 D3 Electricity I Richard Newcomer November 9, 2010

Integrated Circuit Inventor Bob Noyce

Noyce was an educated man with a quick mind as he once explained after his undergraduate education Brown Derby Prize as “the man who gets the best return on the time spent studying (Berlin. music. it is clear that Dr. From his humble beginnings as an Iowa boy. It was a setting of a small community in the countryside for a boy to grow up during the depression era. photocells.” When he was at MIT . to his working on transistors with Nobel award winner William Shockley.” according to the Modern Dictionary of Electronics (Graf.Integrated Circuit 2 An integrated circuit (abbreviated as IC) is a “circuit containing transistors. developing the integrated circuit. the integrated circuit. Robert Noyce. Humble Beginnings In 1927. The IC looks like a plastic box with protruding metal pins (Gibilisco. capacitors. interconnecting electrical conductors contained in a single common substrate of semiconductor material. diodes. Bob Noyce is one of the most important contributors to the field of electricity in the history of the world. founding Intel Corporation. resistors. The Man behind the Microchip. Imagination was important at this juncture and a young Bob Noyce was an athletic boy who showed interest in science. a minister and his wife had a child in a central Iowa town named Grinnell. PhD is the co-inventor of the integrated circuit along with Jack Kilby. and eventual death in 1990. and creating things. We will take a brief look into his academic and professional life and go into more depth over his most important contribution. 1998). Noyce is credited for interconnecting the components of an integrated circuit and designing process for the practical planar circuit. 2005). Dr. 2004). After reading through Noyce’s biography.

. “high switching speeds occur so less time is required for complex operations (Gibilisco. in 1959. In the 1950s. designed and built planes. “We took those transistors that were nicely arranged on a piece of silicon…[and interconnected] the circuit elements by superimposing a thin film of metal atop a wafer of silicon dioxide. it required little power and produced less heat. and loved electronics. faster. As he began his professional life after college and his doctorate research. This man came from humble beginnings to become “the inventor of the first practical integrated circuit. As connections between components are small. he founded Intel with Gordon Moore and focused on applications of the IC for computers. 2005). he worked with Nobel Laureate William Shockley who invented transistors. and only one of 17 patents awarded to him (Berlin. gadgets. Bob Noyce as a child. After a time. 2004). and cheaper as Clinton (1993) details from Bob Noyce’s progress. what he did was make them better. Dr. Since the electrical design on an IC was very small.” The new arrangement Noyce developed for producing integrated circuits was a planar circuit design and allowed for microchips to be mass produced.Integrated Circuit 3 completing a doctorate degree.” Design While Noyce didn’t discover transistors. he got the nickname “Rapid Robert” from classmates for his ability to shortcut his way through problems as he was taking math and physics. Noyce shifted with 7 others to work with Sherman Fairchild to build and perfect ICs.

“the speed and power of computer chips will double every 18 months (Wayner. Noyce’s invention. PDAs. Even though technology is increasing so fast. it is interesting to know that “most ICs are still manufactured using the planar process which Noyce developed in 1959 (Powers.Integrated Circuit 4 Uses today and for the future George Heilmeier.” According to Clinton. we wouldn’t have modern Internet. 1993). Gordon Moore. and video games without Bob Noyce’s contribution to the field of electronics. cell phones. pocket calculators.” That statement is true so far as each year our computers improve at even greater rates than this. “The first ICs had 2-3 transistors and supporting components whereas today. motion detectors. CEO of the present day Bell Labs states. while the cost was cut in half (Clinton. “in the first 25 years after the integrated circuit was invented. 1995). made a statement that is now referred to as Moore’s law and shows the future importance of Dr. laptop computers. the number of transistors per chip doubled every other year. there are ICs containing over 1 million transistors on a single chip!” . integrated circuits “are at the heart of all electronic equipment today. Moore’s Law as shown in Circuits: How Electronic Things Work states. from the pocket calculator to personal computers to the Space Shuttle.” Powers also states. 2006).” If considered thoughtfully. who co-founded Intel with Bob Noyce.

Dr. In his lifespan.Integrated Circuit 5 Summary Bob Noyce contributed to the electronics field with his Integrated Circuit design and development for over 40 years of his professional life. and most modern electronics. Dr. References . Noyce gave the World his inventiveness that paved the way for microchips. Noyce managed to decrease the cost of production in the electronics field in a way so profound that we can see improvements doubling every 18 months. From his humble beginnings as an Iowa minister’s child. better computers.

R . F . (2005). P . C lif to n . Encycloped ia of w or ld biogr aphy: m ichael.1 81 P o w er s ( 1995). P p. Electr onics dem ys tified .or leans . N ew nes . P p. G ib ilis co . 381. US A . O xford U nivers ity Pres s . P p . 1 7 6 . G r af ( 1 9 98). P p. (1993). The N ew Y ork Times C ircuits H ow Electronic Things Wo r k . (2004). 11-15. B ras s ey. G ale. ( 1 999).Integrated Circuit 6 B er lin . (2006). S eventh Edition. F . L. M cG raw -H ill P rofess ional. Inventing the futur e: how s cience and technology tr a n s for m our w or ld. T he integr ated cir cuit hobbyis t . New Y ork. . 39. US A . . Way n er . Moder n dictiona r y of electr onics . T he man behind the m icr ochip: r ober t noyce and the in ven tion of s ilicon valley . S .

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