| | Integrated Circuits |
Photo: Nobelprize.org |
| | Our world is full of integrated circuits. You find several of them in computers. Forexample, most people have probably heard about the microprocessor. The microprocessor is an integrated circuit that processes all information in the computer. It keeps track of what keys are pressed andif the mouse has been moved. It counts numbers and runs programs, games and the operating system. Integrated circuits are also found in almost every modern electrical device such as cars, televisionsets, CD players, cellular phones, etc. But what is an integrated circuit and what is the history behind it? |
| | Electric Circuits |
| | The integrated circuit is nothing more than avery advanced electric circuit. An electric circuit is made from different electrical components such as transistors, resistors, capacitors and diodes, that are connected to each other in differentways. These components have different behaviors.The transistor acts like a switch. It can turn electricity on or off, or it can amplify current. It is used for example in computers to store information,or in stereo amplifiers to make the sound signal stronger.The resistor limits the flow of electricity and gives us the possibility to control the amount of current that is allowed to pass. Resistorsare used, among other things, to control the volume in television sets or radios.The capacitor collects electricity and releases it all in one quick burst; like for instance in cameras where a tinybattery can provide enough energy to fire the flashbulb.The diode stops electricity under some conditions and allows it to pass only when these conditions change. This is used in, for example, photocellswhere a light beam that is broken triggers the diode to stop electricity from flowing through it.These components are like the building blocks in an electrical construction kit. Depending on how the...