Integrated Circuits

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Contributors: jimblom
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Introduction

Integrated circuits (ICs) are a keystone of modern electronics. They are the heart and brains of most circuits. They are the ubiquitous little black "chips" you find on just about every circuit board. Unless you're some kind of crazy, analog electronics wizard, you're likely to have at least one IC in every electronics project you build, so it's important to understand them, inside and out.

Example of ICs on a PCB

Integrated circuits are the little black "chips", found all over embedded electronics.

An IC is a collection of electronic components -- resistors, transistors, capacitors, etc. -- all stuffed into a tiny chip, and connected together to achieve a common goal. They come in all sorts of flavors: single-circuit logic gates, op amps, 555 timers, voltage regulators, motor controllers, microcontrollers, microprocessors, FPGAs...the list just goes on-and-on.

Covered in this Tutorial

  • The make-up of an IC
  • Common IC packages
  • Identifying ICs
  • Commonly used ICs

Suggested Reading

Integrated circuits are one of the more fundamental concepts of electronics. They do build on some previous knowledge, though, so if you aren't familiar with these topics, consider reading their tutorials first...

What is a Circuit?

Every electrical project starts with a circuit. Don't know what a circuit is? We're here to help.

Resistors

A tutorial on all things resistors. What is a resistor, how do they behave in parallel/series, decoding the resistor color codes, and resistor applications.

Diodes

A diode primer! Diode properties, types of diodes, and diode applications.

Polarity

An introduction to polarity in electronic components. Discover what polarity is, which parts have it, and how to identify it.

Capacitors

Learn about all things capacitors. How they're made. How they work. How they look. Types of capacitors. Series/parallel capacitors. Capacitor applications.

Transistors

A crash course in bi-polar junction transistors. Learn how transistors work and in which circuits we use them.