Design & Technology
Integrated circuits are the basic component of modern microelectronics. They are important process blocks in electronic systems. There is a wide range of integrated circuits available, including timer circuits, operational amplifiers and counter circuits.
Integrated circuits (ICs) are self-contained circuits with many separate components such as transistors [transistor: Components which do not conduct electricity unless they are turned on by a (different) electrical current. This means they can be used as switches, amplifiers and in other ways. ], diodes, resistorsresistor: An electrical component that restricts the flow of electrical current. Fixed-value resistors do not change their resistance, but with variable resistors it is possible to vary the resistance. and capacitors [capacitor: Circuit component which stores and discharges electrical current. They are made from two parallel metal plates separated by an insulator (called a dielectric). ] etched into a tiny silicon chip.
The chip inside an IC is usually packaged inside a piece of black plastic with tiny pins protruding to allow connections to the circuit. In ICs the pins are arranged in a dual-in-line (DIL) configuration.
The DIL-configuration IC can be used with an IC socket. This prevents damage to the IC caused by heat when manual soldering [soldering: Joining two metal objects by melting a softer metal with a lower melting point between them - thus fusing the two surfaces or edges together. Soldering is a form of brazing. ]. It also allows the IC to be changed if necessary, for example during a repair.
ICs can also be configured as a surface-mount chip with either 8, 14 or 16 pins. The surface mount chip is much smaller and is designed for machines to build the circuits.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.