Integrated Circuit (IC)

Definition - What does Integrated Circuit (IC) mean?

An integrated circuit (IC) is a small semiconductor-based electronic device consisting of fabricated transistors, resistors and capacitors. Integrated circuits are the building blocks of most electronic devices and equipment.

An integrated circuit is also known as a chip or microchip.

Techopedia explains Integrated Circuit (IC)

A integrated circuit is built with the primary objective of embedding as many transistors as possible on a single semiconductor chip with numbers reaching in the billions as of 2012.

According to their design assembly, integrated circuits have undergone several generations of advancements and developments such as:

  • Small Scale Integration (SSI): Ten to hundreds of transistors per chip
  • Medium Scale Integration (MSI): Hundreds to thousands of transistors per chip
  • Large Scale Integration (LSI): Thousands to several hundred thousand transistors per chip
  • Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI): Up to 1 million transistors per chip
  • Ultra Large Scale Integration (ULSI): This represents a modern IC with millions and billions of transistors per chip
An IC can be further classified as being digital, analog or a combination of both. The most common example of a modern IC is the computer processor, which consists of billions of fabricated transistors, logic gates and other digital circuitry.
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