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© Texas Instruments Business | June 19, 2014

Microchips a money-spinner?

Microchips are not for everyone. You also rarely have to bet your ranch to purchase a microchip. This particular microchip however, could change ownership for USD 1 million or more.

Christie's auction house now has a listing for a 1958 produced prototype., which was designed by Jack Kilby (1923-2005).
{{functions.webify.editors-note}} Christie's description: A prototype integrated circuit built between 18 July and 12 September 1958, germanium wafer (11 mm long) doubly diffused, flying gold wire, four leads, mounted with Sauereisen high temperature cement on a small glass plate, bonded gold leads and copper wire, glued onto a second glass plate (50 x 50 mm), housed in plastic case marked in black ink "Networks Tom YEARGAN EXT 1727" and with label later signed "Jack S Kilby".
Although Kilby was not the only engineer who worked on the development of this technology, Kilby is generally referred to (and in some ways even Texas Instruments) as the 'Father of the Microchip'. On February 6, 1959, the U.S. patent 3,138,743 was filed for the first integrated circuit. In 2000, the Nobel Prize for Physics followed. In his acceptance speech, he also highlighted the work of the technicians Pat Harbrecht and Tom Yeargan and quoted Charles Townes: "No. I didn't build it myself. But it's based on an idea of mine!" And exactly this piece of history will be auctioned off. So if you have a little money on the side (and do not really know what to do with it) feel free to participate in the auction. However, piggy banks of the children and grandchildren are Off Limits!
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