Integrated Circuits

Contributors: Jimb0
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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…