Integrated circuit

Electronic circuit formed on a small, flat piece of semiconductor material
Integrated circuit from an EPROM memory microchip showing the memory blocks, the supporting circuitry and the fine silver wires which connect the integrated circuit die to the legs of the packaging

A circuit in which all or some of the circuit elements are inseparably associated and electrically interconnected so that it is considered to be indivisible for the purposes of construction and commerce.

Initially, ICs were strictly electronic devices. The success of ICs has led to the integration of other technologies, in an attempt to obtain the same advantages of small size and low cost. These technologies include mechanical devices, optics, and sensors.

Modern electronic component distributors often further sub-categorize integrated circuits:

The manufacturing date is commonly represented as a two-digit year followed by a two-digit week code, such that a part bearing the code 8341 was manufactured in week 41 of 1983, or approximately in October 1983.

The next step in the development of integrated circuits introduced devices which contained hundreds of transistors on each chip, called "medium-scale integration" (MSI).

Integrated circuits such as 1K-bit RAMs, calculator chips, and the first microprocessors, that began to be manufactured in moderate quantities in the early 1970s, had under 4,000 transistors. True LSI circuits, approaching 10,000 transistors, began to be produced around 1974, for computer main memories and second-generation microprocessors.