An integrated circuit is a chip in that contains all the amenities of a normal circuit board. These components include capacitors, resistors, transistors and many others. These components are condensed into a single chip in micro-electronics.
Integrated circuits were invented to solve the problems that were observed in discrete circuits. Discrete circuits are the normal type where distinct or separate components are interconnected using wires or plated conductors on motherboards. The two major problems in discrete circuits were too many soldering joints due to interconnections causing unreliability. The second problem was that of space, discrete circuits occupied a lot of space due to the hundreds of components that were used.
Since initiation in the 1950s, integrated circuits have had a success. Here are some of the advantages observed in integrated circuits;
1. Since the soldering joints are not used in integrated circuits, this means that they are more reliable than discrete circuits. This is due to the reduction in number of interconnections between components.
2. Due to fabrication of the various components on the integrated circuits, the components became much smaller. This makes integrated circuits much lighter than discrete circuits. The integrated circuits thus consume much less space than discrete circuits.
3. Integrated circuits are encapsulated with a silicon oxide layer during manufacture. This layer is tough and resistant and thus gives the integrated an ability to operate at extremes of temperatures and other extreme environmental conditions.
4. Integrated circuits are constrained to minimize the number of external connection. This has greatly simplified the layout of these circuits and makes them easier to use.
5. Integrated circuits have been notice to use less power for operations.
6. Integrated circuits have a lower cost of production than that of discrete circuits.
On the other hand integrated circuits have had a flipside too. They have had some limitations. Here are some of the disadvantages that occur in integrated circuits;
1. If one component in an integrated fails, that means the whole circuit has to be replaced.
2. Integrated circuits have limited capacitances. This calls for external components if the capacitance needs an extension.
3. It is impossible to fabricate transformers or any other kind of inductor onto the integrated circuits and again calling for a discrete circuit.
4. Power that integrated circuits can produce is limited and calls for extension.
5. Integrated circuits are not flexible. Their components cannot be modified and neither can the parameters of operation.
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