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In electronics, an integrated circuit (also known as IC, microcircuit, microchip, silicon chip, or chip) is a miniaturized electronic circuit (consisting mainly of semiconductor devices, as well as passive components) that has been manufactured in the surface of a thin substrate of semiconductor material. Integrated circuits are used in almost all electronic equipment in use today and have revolutionized the world of electronics. A hybrid integrated circuit is a miniaturized electronic circuit constructed of individual semiconductor devices, as well as passive components, bonded to a substrate or circuit board.

|Contents | |[hide] | |1 Introduction | |2 Invention | |3 Generations | |3.1 SSI, MSI and LSI | |3.2 VLSI | |3.3 ULSI, WSI, SOC and 3D-IC | |4 Advances in integrated circuits | |5 Popularity of ICs | |6 Classification | |7 Manufacturing | |7.1 Fabrication | |7.2 Packaging | |7.3 Chip labeling and manufacture date | |8 Legal protection of semiconductor chip layouts | |9 Other developments | |10 Silicon labelling and graffiti | |11 Key industrial and academic data | |11.1 Notable ICs | |11.2 Manufacturers | |11.3 VLSI conferences | |11.4 VLSI journals | |12 See also | |13 References | |14 Further reading | |15 External links |


Synthetic detail of an integrated circuit through four layers of planarized copper interconnect, down to the polysilicon (pink), wells (greyish), and substrate (green). Integrated circuits were made possible by experimental discoveries which showed that semiconductor devices could perform the functions of vacuum tubes and by mid-20th-century technology advancements in semiconductor device fabrication. The integration of large numbers of tiny transistors into a small chip was an enormous improvement over the manual assembly of circuits using electronic components. The integrated circuit's mass production capability, reliability, and building-block approach to circuit design ensured the rapid adoption of standardized ICs in place of designs using discrete transistors. There are two main advantages of ICs over discrete circuits: cost and performance. Cost is low because the chips, with all their components, are printed as a unit by photolithography and not constructed as one transistor at a time. Furthermore, much less material is used to construct a circuit as...
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