Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Jack St. Clair Kilby (born November 8, 1923) is a notable American electrical engineer. He invented the integrated circuit in 1958 while working at Texas Instruments. At about the same time Robert Noyce made the same discovery at Fairchild Semiconductor.
Jack was born in Jefferson City, Missouri. He spent much of his early life in Great Bend, Kansas (pop. 20,000+) and graduated from Great Bend High School. There is a set of large road signs at the entrances to the town mentioning that he is from there. He received his undergraduate (BS) degree from University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 1947 with a degree in Electrical Engineering.
In the summer of 1958, Kilby was a newly employed engineer at TI who didn't yet have the right to a summer vacation. He spent the whole summer working on the problem of "tyranny of numbers" and finally came to the conclusion that all that they need is semiconductors. On September 12 he presented his findings to the management of Texas Instruments. He showed them a piece of germanium, pressed a switch, and the attached oscilloscope showed a continuous sine wave, proving that he solved the problem. A patent for a "Solid Circuit made of Germanium", the first integrated circuit, was later filed on February 6, 1959.
From 1978 to 1985, he was Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M University. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2000 for his breakthrough discovery. The J-K flip-flop is named after him, as is The Kilby Center, TI's research center for silicon manufacturing.
In addition to the integrated circuit, Kilby also is noted as the patenting inventor of the portable calculator and the thermal printer used in data terminals.
- US3138743 -- Minaturized electronic circuit
- US3138747 -- Intergrated semiconductor circuit device
- US3261081 -- Method of making minaturied electronic circuits
- US3434015 -- Capacitor for minaturied electronic circuits or the like
- "Jack St. Clair Kilby", Texas Instruments Incorporated.
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