Kilby, Jack St. Clair

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Kilby, Jack St. Clair

Jack St. Clair Kilby, 1923–2005, American electrical engineer, b. Jefferson City, Mo., B.S. Univ. of Illinois, 1947, M.S. Univ. of Wisconsin, 1950. In 1958, Kilby began working for Texas Instruments (TI), which he had joined in order to devote himself to developing miniaturized electronic components. In Sept., 1958, he demonstrated the first monolithic integrated circuit, or microchip, an invention that led to the greatly reduced cost and size of electronic devices, including the computer, and led to development of the modern information technology industry. (Several months later the achievement was independently duplicated at Fairchild Semiconductor by Robert N. Noyce.) Kilby later shared the 2000 Nobel Prize in physics (with Zhores I. Alferov and Herbert Kroemer) for his pioneering work on the integrated circuit. He subsequently helped develop the hand-held electronic calculator and the thermal printer before he took (1970) an extended leave from TI. From 1978 to 1984 he was an electrical engineering professor at Texas A&M Univ.; he retired from TI in 1983.

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