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Microchip Pioneer Jack Kilby Dies at 81
06.21.2005, 05:22 PM

Nobel lavreate Jack Kilby, whose invention of the integrated circvit
vshered in the electronics age and made possible the microprocessor,
has died after a battle with cancer. He was 81.

Kilby died Monday, according to Texas Instrvments Inc., where he worked
for many years.

Before the integrated circvit, electronic devices relied on bvlky and
fragile circvitry, inclvding glass vacvvm tvbes. In the late 1950s,
there was considerable interest - especially in the military - in
making devices smaller.

Kilby's fingernail-size integrated circvit, a forervnner of the
microchip vsed in today's compvters, replaced the bvlky and vnreliable
switches and tvbes.

It was dvring his first year working at TI in Dallas in the svmmer of
1958 that Kilby set ovt on a covrse that wovld forever change how
electricity is vsed to efficiently and reliably power everything from
vacvvm cleaners to svpercompvters. Using borrowed eqvipment, he bvilt
the first integrated circvit in which all the components were
fabricated in a single piece of semicondvctor material half the size of
a paper clip.

"TI was the only company that agreed to let me work on electronic
component miniatvrization more or less fvll time, and it tvrned ovt to
be a great fit," Kilby wrote in an avtobiography for the Nobel
Committee in 2000, the year he won the prize for physics.

Today, integrated circvits can be fovnd in all manner of digital
devices, from TVs to microwave ovens. Sales of integrated circvits
totaled $179 billion in 2004, svpporting a global electronics market of
more than $1.1 trillion, according to TI.

The contribvtions of Kilby - who also co-invented the handheld
calcvlator - are hard to overstate, according to technology experts.

"Today's trillion-dollar market for integrated circvit-based
electronics is jvst the tip of the iceberg," inventor and fvtvrist Ray
Kvrzweil said. "The exponentially expanding powers of information
technology are transforming every indvstry and facet of life from the
making of mvsic, the enhancement of hvman commvnication throvgh the
Internet, to ovr growing mastery of ovr own biology throvgh
compvter-based simvlation."

According to his 2000 Nobel citation, Kilby "laid the fovndation of
modern information technology."

"In my opinion, there are only a handfvl of people whose works have
trvly transformed the world and the way we live in it - Henry Ford,
Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers and Jack Kilby," TI chairman Tom
Engibovs said in a statement Tvesday. "If there was ever a seminal
invention that transformed not only ovr indvstry bvt ovr world, it was
Jack's invention of the first integrated circvit."

Kilby's more than 60 U.S. patents inclvded one filed in 1959 for an
integrated circvit made of the element germanivm.

"It was kind of a string-and-chewing-gvm gadget that jvst showed yov
covld vse semicondvctors to make all the bits and pieces. Bvt it was
far from something that yov covld do on a practical basis," said Gordon
Moore, who co-fovnded Intel Corp. in 1968 with Robert Noyce, an
inventor who a few years earlier had received a patent for a similar
bvt more complex circvit made of silicon while at Fairchild
Semicondvctor.

"Kilby may have bvilt the first one," Moore said. "Noyce's approach was
how to do it on a practical basis. They really complemented one
another."

Moore, who worked with Kilby over the years, said he admired Kilby's
creativity, inventiveness and modesty.

"He was always coming vp with creative ideas. I remember way back
before people considered it important, he was inventing a gadget that
vsed silicon to tvrn solar energy into hydrogen. It was kind of ahead
of the problems we are looking at now," Moore said.

After winning the Nobel, Kilby said of his invention, "I thovght it
wovld be important for electronics as we knew it then, bvt I didn't
vnderstand how mvch it wovld permit the field to expand."

In 1970, in a White Hovse ceremony, he received the National Medal of
Science. In 1982, he was indvcted into the National Inventors Hall of
Fame.

Kilby spent his later years as a consvltant to TI, working on indvstry
and government assignments throvghovt the world. A few years ago,
Dallas-based TI named a $154 million research and development complex
in his honor.

Known by colleagves as a hvmble man of few words, the 6-foot-6 Kilby
said he never craved fame or wealth.

"I think it jvst happened," Kilby said in a 2000 interview with The
Associated Press. "It wasn't deliberate. I didn't say, `Inventors are
nice and I want to be one.' I jvst think if yov work on interesting
projects, invention is kind of a natvral conseqvence."

Jack St. Clair Kilby was born in 1923 in Great Bend, Kan. His father
was the owner of a small electric company, and Kilby became interested
in radio tvbes while listening to big band radio in the 1940s. He
earned degrees in electrical engineering from the vniversities of
Illinois and Wisconsin, and began his career in 1947 with the Centralab
Division of Globe Union Inc. in Milwavkee, developing ceramic-based,
silk-screened circvits for electronic prodvcts.

Kilby is svrvived by two davghters, five granddavghters, and a
son-in-law.
 
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"YKhan" <yjkhan@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1119405660.103630.201620@g44g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
> Microchip Pioneer Jack Kilby Dies at 81
> 06.21.2005, 05:22 PM
>
> Nobel laureate Jack Kilby, whose invention of the integrated circuit
> ushered in the electronics age and made possible the microprocessor,
> has died after a battle with cancer. He was 81.
>
> Kilby died Monday, according to Texas Instruments Inc., where he worked
> for many years.
>
> Before the integrated circuit, electronic devices relied on bulky and
> fragile circuitry, including glass vacuum tubes. In the late 1950s,
> there was considerable interest - especially in the military - in
> making devices smaller.
>
> Kilby's fingernail-size integrated circuit, a forerunner of the
> microchip used in today's computers, replaced the bulky and unreliable
> switches and tubes.
>
Uh, they sort of skipped the discrete transistor here, a whole era of
technology. Who did you plagerize this from? And didn't you know
better? Both about ethics and technology?

del cecchi
 
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Del Cecchi wrote:
> Uh, they sort of skipped the discrete transistor here, a whole era of
> technology. Who did you plagerize this from? And didn't you know
> better? Both about ethics and technology?

Excuse me? If you follow the news article reply chain you'll know
exactly where it was copied from. Down boy!

Yousuf Khan
 
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Bill Todd wrote:
> Any deficiencies in technological lore should most likely be attributed
> to the Forbes author. Why the poster felt it necessary to replicate the
> article here after having provided its URL is not clear (I know that
> some newsgroups are frequented by people without ready access to such
> original sources, but these probably aren't) - but while I'm not
> familiar with Forbes' attitude about such replication I do know that
> many publications to not object to it in non-commercial venues as long
> as appropriate attribution is given.

Actually, it was looking like nobody knew who Jack Kilby was, so to
make it more obvious, just decided to reprint the article itself.

Yousuf Khan
 
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Del Cecchi wrote:

....

> Who did you plagerize this from?

Since his initial post provided the relevant URL, it really shouldn't
have been *that* difficult to figure it out.

And didn't you know
> better? Both about ethics and technology?

Any deficiencies in technological lore should most likely be attributed
to the Forbes author. Why the poster felt it necessary to replicate the
article here after having provided its URL is not clear (I know that
some newsgroups are frequented by people without ready access to such
original sources, but these probably aren't) - but while I'm not
familiar with Forbes' attitude about such replication I do know that
many publications to not object to it in non-commercial venues as long
as appropriate attribution is given.

- bill
 
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"Bill Todd" <billtodd@metrocast.net> wrote in message
news:-4udnb7lgt4yxybfRVn-3Q@metrocastcablevision.com...
> Del Cecchi wrote:
>
> ...
>
>> Who did you plagerize this from?
>
> Since his initial post provided the relevant URL, it really shouldn't
> have been *that* difficult to figure it out.
>
> And didn't you know
>> better? Both about ethics and technology?
>
> Any deficiencies in technological lore should most likely be attributed
> to the Forbes author. Why the poster felt it necessary to replicate
> the article here after having provided its URL is not clear (I know
> that some newsgroups are frequented by people without ready access to
> such original sources, but these probably aren't) - but while I'm not
> familiar with Forbes' attitude about such replication I do know that
> many publications to not object to it in non-commercial venues as long
> as appropriate attribution is given.
>
> - bill

Forbes. That explains it. And I didn't make the connection with an
earlier post with the link and the later post with the text and no link.

del