ECE Hall of Fame
John Bardeen's transistor enabled engineers to design ever larger and more complex circuits, which in turn introduced a new problem: how to interconnect huge numbers of discrete components economically and reliably. Working at Texas Instruments in 1958, Jack St. Clair Kilby (BSEE ’47) solved this problem (called the "tyranny of numbers") with the integrated circuit (IC or microchip). Behind the IC lay the "monolithic idea" of combining circuit components on a solid slab of semiconducting material. Kilby's invention changed the world. The IC essentially created the modern computer and telecommunications industries and is a key component in most of today’s electronic products. For his invention, Kilby won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2000.