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Microchip turns 50

They say small is beautiful. But If you go by the seven-16ths of an inch by one-16th of an inch of an inspiration, there’s more to it.

business Updated: Sep 13, 2008 00:02 IST

They say small is beautiful. But If you go by the seven-16ths of an inch by one-16th of an inch of an inspiration, there’s more to it.

Look around you, try the backpocket of your trouser — feel that? That credit card that holds the key to your ability to spend hides this taken-for-granted revolution — the microchip.

Wednesday marked the 50th birthday of this microstuff, now found almost everywhere. Supercomputers to your plastic money — you’d have a hard time trying to find a device without the microchip. Microchip’s resounding success also lies in its low-cost manufacturing, efficient performance and low power consumption.

When the microchip was born on September 12, 1958, delivered by Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments, the chip was actually a germanium strip with sole transistor and components glued onto a glass side.

Half a decade later you can’t just think the world without this wonder, responsible for the birth of the modern computer industry and the Internet.

The other areas which have benefited incredibly from the microchip’s minute existence is communications, medicine, transport, commerce and manufacturing – the treadmarks of the modern world.