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What Is a Silicon Integrated Circuit?

 Company Resources About What Is a Silicon Integrated Circuit?

What Is a Silicon Integrated Circuit?
Geisha A. Legazpi
Last Modified Date: June 09, 2023
A silicon integrated circuit (IC) is a compact functional electronic circuit that contains silicon-based semiconductors. Semiconductors have conductivity characteristics that can be controlled in various ways. The integrated circuit, also known as chip or microchip, is seen as a small component with terminals ranging from eight pins or more. Very large-scale integration ICs are used in computing devices that contain more than a million silicon transistors. Transistors are three-terminal devices that act as current-controlled current valves and are like electromagnetic relays, but with continuous current control instead of two-state or on/off control.

The semiconductor used in a silicon integrated circuit is the main entity referred to as a solid-state device. Before the first solid-state device was put into commercial use, the way to control the flow of electrons was to use a vacuum tube with a heater, cathode, plate, and at least a control grid. The size and power requirement of vacuum tubes now make them popular only in specialized fields such as extra-high power amplifiers for audio and radio applications. The silicon integrated circuit is very popular also due to the availability of silicon, as a common compound of silicon is found everywhere as ordinary sand. By proper heating in the absence of oxygen, semiconductor manufacturers are able to produce pure silicon, which can be further processed as diodes, transistors, and ICs.