What is Integrated Circuits?

An integrated circuit (IC or chip) is a set of electronic circuits on one small plate of semiconductor material (wafer), normally silicon.

An integrated circuit is a small chip that can function as an amplifier, oscillator, timer, microprocessor, or even computer memory. An IC can hold anywhere from hundreds to millions of transistors, resistors, and capacitors. These extremely small electronics devices can perform calculations and store data using either digital or Analog technology.

Digital ICs use logic gates, which work only with values of ones and zeros while analog or linear ICs work with continuous values. This means a component on a linear IC can take a value of any kind and output another value.

Integrated circuits are often classified by the number of transistors and other electronic components they contain
  • SSI (small-scale integration): Up to 100 electronic components per chip
  • MSI (medium-scale integration): From 100 to 3,000 electronic components per chip
  • LSI (large-scale integration): From 3,000 to 100,000 electronic components per chip
  • VLSI (very large-scale integration): From 100,000 to 1,000,000 electronic components per chip
  • ULSI (ultra large-scale integration): More than 1 million electronic components per chip.