Jack Kilby, Father of the Microchip

Jack Kilby, inventor of the microchip
While working at Texas Instruments, Jack Kilby invented the world's first integrated circuit in 1958. Texas Instruments

Electrical engineer Jack Kilby invented the integrated circuit, also known as the microchip. A microchip is a set of interconnected electronic components such as transistors and resistors that are etched or imprinted onto a tiny chip of a semiconducting material, such as silicon or germanium. The microchip shrunk the size and cost of making electronics and impacted the future designs of all computers and other electronics.

The first successful demonstration of the microchip was on September 12, 1958.

The Life of Jack Kilby

Jack Kilby was born on November 8 1923 in Jefferson City, Missouri. Kilby was raised in Great Bend, Kansas.

He earned a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois and a M.S. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin.

In 1947, he began working for Globe Union of Milwaukee, where he designed ceramic silk-screen circuits for electronic devices. In 1958, Jack Kilby began working for Texas Instruments of Dallas, where he invented the microchip.

Kilby died on June 20, 2005 in Dallas, Texas.

Jack Kilby's Honors and Positions

From 1978 to 1984, Jack Kilby was a Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M University. In 1970, Kilby received the National Medal of Science. In 1982, Jack Kilby was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

The Kilby Awards Foundation, which annually honors individuals for achievements in science, technology, and education, was established by Jack Kilby. Most notably, Jack Kilby was awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize for Physics for his work on the integrated circuit.

Jack Kilby's Other Inventions

Jack Kilby has been awarded more than sixty patents for his inventions.

Using the microchip, Jack Kilby designed and co-invented the first pocket-sized calculator called the "Pocketronic". He also invented the thermal printer that was used in portable data terminals. For many years Kilby was involved in the invention of solar powered devices.