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Robert Noyce invented one version of the integrated circuit in 1959.

Noyce Robert Noyce was the co-inventor of the integrated circuit. Noyce (1927-1990) was born in Iowa, majored in physics at Grinnell College, and received a Ph.D. in physics at M.I.T in 1953. He worked on germanium transistor development at Philco Corporation and then silicon transistors at Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, near Palo Alto, California, in what eventually became known as Silicon Valley. In 1957 Noyce helped found Fairchild Semiconductor and became its research and development director.

Although he didn't know it at the time, Noyce wasn't the only one who invented the integrated circuit.

At Fairchild Noyce concentrated his attention on ways to improve the multiple circuit interconnections necessary for sophisticated electronics. In 1959 he combined elements on a single silicon chip and called it an integrated circuit. In 1959 both Noyce and Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments independently 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.

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 be added using a microprocessor, making today's quartz watches more like dedicated microcomputers.

Before 1960 ~ After 1960

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