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Jack St. Clair Kilby is recognized as the co-inventor of the integrated circuit.

Kilby In 1958, Jack Kilby (1923- ) was working on problems of electronic miniaturization at Texas Instruments when he came up with the idea of integrating large numbers of interconnections in a single piece of silicon. Kilby had a working circuit in the fall of that same year and applied for a patent in 1959. That same year Robert Noyce of Fairchild Semiconductor also applied for a patent on the integrated circuit. During a ten-year patent dispute, Fairchild and TI agreed to license each other and other companies to manufacture integrated circuits. Today Kilby and Noyce are recognized as independent co-inventors. Kilby was awarded a patent for the integrated circuit structure and for demonstrating that the circuit worked. A separate patent was awarded to Noyce who was credited with inventing the planar process method of connecting the circuit's components.

Kilby earned an electrical engineering degree from the University of Illinois in 1947 and a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin. He worked on the first consumer products of the electronic age--the transistor-based hearing aid, in the late 1950s at Centralab Division of Globe-Union Corporation, and, the first pocket calculator, in the mid-1960s at Texas Instruments. In 1970, Kilby left TI to become an independent inventor.

The integrated circuit (IC) controls the functions of the quartz watch.

It is the integrated circuit that makes possible the modern field of microelectronics. In all quartz watches, the integrated circuit sustains the oscillations of the quartz crystal, divides the quartz frequency down to one pulse per second, and drives the display. Many more functions can by added using a microprocessor, making today's quartz watches more like dedicated microcomputers.

Before 1960 ~ After 1960

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