- Rise of the Chip
Earlier we mentioned Jack Kilby and the invention of the integrated circuit in 1958. At the time, Jack was a relatively new employee of Texas Instruments in Dallas, Texas. The company had a policy that everyone would take their vacation at the same time, so that they could just shut down the manufacturing facilities. The problem was that Jack was such a recent hire, he didn’t have enough accrued time to take such a vacation. So, he had to remain in the facility finding something with which to keep his mind busy. Left to his own devices during this period, he realized that an entire circuit could be manufactured more efficiently if it all lay on one integrated piece of material. Over the period, he began his work to integrate a complete oscillator circuit on a piece of germanium, one of the early materials in the semiconductor industry. When the summer was over, he arranged a demonstration for his managers, and showed how this small piece of germanium made a modern oscillator. The patent was quickly filed. As they say, the rest is history.