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Jack S. Kilby

Jack S. KilbyAKA Jack St. Clair Kilby

Born: 8-Nov-1923
Birthplace: Jefferson City, MO
Died: 20-Jun-2005
Location of death: Dallas, TX
Cause of death: Cancer - unspecified
Remains: Buried, Sparkman Hillcrest Memorial Park, Dallas, TX

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Inventor, Engineer

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Electrical engineering pioneer

Military service: US Army, Office of Strategic Services (1941-47)

American electrical engineer Jack S. Kilby was the inventor of the integrated circuit. He came up with the idea that an entire circuit could be constructed from a single piece of silicon with no connections, simply by employing different doping levels while working alone at Texas Instruments (TI) in 1958, while the lab was on a company-wide two-week shut-down. He promptly designed, molded, and tested the first integrated circuit, and had a working sample by the time his co-workers returned to the lab.

Mere months later, an integrated circuit of a different design was invented by Robert Noyce, and the two scientists (and their employers) battled in court for years over the patent rights. Kilby and TI won in court in 1967, but Noyce and Fairchild Semiconductor won on appeal the following year, and Noyce went on to co-found Intel Corporation. Kilby, however, won the Nobel Prize in 2000, an honor never accorded to Noyce.

Kilby also invented the semiconductor-based thermal printer, in 1965, and led TI's team that developed the first calculator based on integrated circuitry, in 1967. The device, code named "Cal-Tech", was about the size of present-day laptop computer, and it could add, subtract, multiply, and divide, with a capacity of eight digits before the fixed decimal point, and four digits after. Unfortunately, it required literally dozens of integrated circuits, rendering the device simply too expensive to be manufactured and sold at the time, so it was instead used only for technical demonstrations.

Kilby's TI integrated circuitry was used in Canon's Pocketronic, the first consumer calculator, introduced in Japan in late 1970 and in America in early 1971. Retailing for about $385, it helped eliminate much of the demand for slide rules and mechanical adding machines. The integrated circuit, of course, became the backbone of the 20th century's electronics explosion, allowing the development of advanced medical diagnostic equipment, cell phones, digital watches, DVDs, personal computers, and video games, among myriad other uses.

Father: Hubert Kilby (managed local electric utility)
Mother: Vina Kilby
Sister: Jane Kilby
Wife: Barbara Annegers Kilby (d. 1982)
Daughter: Janet Kilby Cameron
Daughter: Ann Kilby

    High School: Great Bend High School, Great Bend, KS
    University: BS Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1947)
    University: MS Electrical Engineering, University of Wisconsin at Madison (1950)
    Professor: Electrical Engineering, Texas A&M University (1978-85)

    Franklin Institute Stuart Ballantine Medal 1966
    IEEE David Sarnoff Award 1966
    National Medal of Science 1969
    IEEE Vladimir K. Zworykin Award 1975
    IEEE Cledo Brunetti Award 1978
    IEEE Consumer Electronics Award 1980
    National Inventors Hall of Fame 1982
    ASME Alexander Holley Medal 1983
    IEEE Medal of Honor 1986
    Engineering and Science Hall of Fame 1988
    Charles Stark Draper Prize 1989
    National Medal of Technology and Innovation 1990
    Kyoto Prize 1993
    Nobel Prize for Physics 2000 (with Zhores I. Alferov and Herbert Kroemer)
    Texas Instruments Consultant (1970-2005)
    Texas Instruments Assistant VP, Engineering and Technology (1968-70)
    Texas Instruments Mgr., Semiconductor Networks (1962-68)
    Texas Instruments Engineering Mgr., Semiconductor Networks (1960-62)
    Texas Instruments Engineer (1958-60)
    Globe Union, Inc. Electronics engineer (1947-58)
    American Society of Mechanical Engineers
    National Academy of Engineering
    Eta Kappa Nu Honor Society 2006
    Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society

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