Jack S. Kilby

  • From:

    Texas A&M University │ College Station, Texas

  • Year:

    1966

  • Subject:

    Engineering Awards

  • Award:

    Ballantine

  • Citation:

    For the development of monolithic integrated circuits (microchips) (with Robert N. Noyce).

Jack Kilby was born in 1923 in Great Bend, Kansas. He recieved his B.S. from the University of Illinois and his M.S. from the University of Wisconsin, both in electrical engineering. He began his career in 1947 with the Centralab Division of Globe Union Inc. in Milwaukee, developing ceramic-base, silk-screen circuits for consumer electronic products. In 1958, he joined Texas Instruments, where he made his most significant discovery. That year, he conceived and built the first electronic circuit in which all of the components, both active and passive, were fabricated in a single piece of semiconductor material half the size of a paper clip. On September 12, 1958, Kilby made history when he conducted a successful laboratory demonstration of that first simple microchip.

Kilby went on to pioneer military, industrial, and commercial applications of microchip technology. He headed teams that built both the first military system and the first computer incorporating integrated circuits. He later co-invented both the hand-held calculator and the thermal printer that was used in portable data terminals.

He took a leave of absence from Texas Instruments in 1970 to work as an independent inventor. He explored, among other subjects, the use of silicon technology for generating electrical power from sunlight. From 1978 to 1984, he held the position of Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering at Texas A and M University.

Information as of 1984