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Microchip pioneer Jack Kilby dead at 81

Marc Perton
06.22.05
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jack kilby

Jack Kilby, the inventor of the integrated circuit, has died at the age of 81. Kilby built the first IC while working at Texas Instruments in 1958, and later helped to develop the first handheld calculator. Kilby was awarded a Nobel prize in 2000, for laying "the foundation of modern information technology." Ironically, when Kilby first started developing IC technology, he had trouble finding a company that would invest in the work. "TI was the only company that agreed to let me work on electronic component miniaturization more or less full time, and it turned out to be a great fit," he wrote. TI battled Fairchild Semiconductor, where Robert Noyce — later an Intel cofounder — created his own version of the IC months after Kilby. The two companies eventually cross-licensed the two technologies.

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