14th Febrauary 1978

36 years ago on this day, Texas Instruments patented the first “micro on a chip”.

It was actually the first speech synthesizer chip and was used in TI’s famous Speak and Spell toy.

In 1976 TI began a feasibility study memory intensive applications for bubble memory then being developed. They soon focused on speech applications. This resulted in the development the TMC0280 one-chip Linear predictive coding (LPC) speech synthesizer which was the first time a single silicon chip had electronically replicated the human voice.

An integrated circuit or monolithic integrated circuit (also referred to as an IC, a chip, or a microchip) is a set of electronic circuits on one small plate (“chip”) of semiconductor material, normally silicon.

Integrated circuits are used in virtually all electronic equipment today and have revolutionised the world of electronics. Computers, mobile phones, and other digital home appliances are now inextricable parts of the structure of modern societies, made possible by the low cost of producing integrated circuits.
ICs can be made very compact, having up to several billion transistors and other electronic components in an area the size of a fingernail. The width of each conducting line in a circuit can be made smaller and smaller as the technology advances; in 2008 it dropped below 100 nanometres and in 2013 it is expected to be in the tens of nanometres.

 

ICs have consistently migrated to smaller feature sizes over the years, allowing more circuitry to be packed on each chip. This increased capacity per unit area can be used to decrease cost and/or increase functionality.

Chips are used in everything now from Kettles and toasters to mobile phones and TV’s.  They are an incredible invention which continue to develop and evolve.

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Posted on February 14, 2014, in Useful Information. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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