are few men whose insights and professional accomplishments
have changed the world. Jack Kilby was one of these men. His
invention of the monolithic integrated circuit - the microchip
- laid the conceptual and technical foundation for the entire
field of modern microelectronics. From Jack Kilby's first simple
circuit has grown a worldwide integrated circuit market whose
sales in 2007 totaled $219 billion.
Jack Kilby grew up in Great Bend, Kansas and joined TI in
Dallas in 1958. During the summer of that year, working with
borrowed and improvised equipment, he conceived and built
the first electronic circuit in which all of the components,
both active and passive, were fabricated in a single piece
of semiconductor material half the size of a paper clip.
It was a relatively simple device that Jack Kilby showed
to a handful of co-workers gathered in TI's semiconductor
lab 50 years ago -- only a transistor and other
components on a slice of germanium. Little did this group
of onlookers know that Kilby's invention was about to revolutionize
the electronics industry.
"As a new employee, I had no vacation time coming and
was left alone to ponder the results of the IF amplifier exercise.
The cost analysis gave me my first insight into the cost structure
of a semiconductor house."
Jack Kilby received the Nobel Prize in Physics on December
10. 2000 for his part in the invention of the integrated circuit.
To congratulate him, U.S. President Bill Clinton wrote, "You
can take pride in the knowledge that your work will help
to improve lives for generations to come."