Computers News

World’s Very First Microchip Is Up For Sale For $600.000

Jack Kilby, an electrical engineer from Missouri, fundamentally changed the technology as we know today by inventing the world’s very first compound circuit microchip.

The integrated circuit was built by Texas Instruments in 1958

says Craig Kissick, Science Director at Heritage Auctions.

Those early day microchips are further developed by the Texas Instruments, which was led by Tom Yeargan, a technician who worked very close to Jack Kilby. And the technology they built together was able replace the almost roomsized computers, and led to the creation of smaller electronic devices as we use in our everyday lives.

According to DALLAS (KRLD) – Heritage Auctions, the technology that disrupted the world, is expected to be auctioned off for 600.000 US Dollars.

This composite circuit is no bigger than a regular sized SIM card, consists of semiconducting copper and gold cables mounted on a glass floor. This historic microchip prototype, stored in a plastic container on which the name of Tom Yeargan is written, will be auctioned together with the document of the inventor’s patent application.

Jack Kilby wins the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2000

In the first half of the 20th century, the electronics industry was dominated by the electron tube technology. In 1947 Bell Labs ended this dominance of the electron tubes by inventing smaller, less power-consuming, less-heated and more reliable transistors.

Before Kilby exhibited his first microchip in Texas in 1958 and fundamentally changed the whole computer industry, computers were big enough to cover a huge room and it was impossible to use them extensively as it is today. One picture is worth a thousand words, if you really would like to know how ground breaking this compound circuit invention means for technology. Simply take a look at a computer from those early days.

However, soldering these transistors with thousands of bite by hands was a costly and time-consuming process. Kilby eliminated these problems by inventing a compound circuit that combines all these pieces together. And gave birth to a technological breakthrough that powers many different electronic devices from televisions to smart phones, credit cards to spacecrafts.

This contribution to Kilby’s technology world was awarded many years later by the Nobel Foundation, and Kilby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2000, 42 years after designing his first microchip.

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Also published on Medium.