A monolithic integrated circuit (IC) is an electronic circuit that is built on a single semiconductor base material or single chip. Using a single base material is similar to using a blank canvass to create a painting. The surface of the initially neutral semiconductor base will be selectively processed to produce various types of active devices, such as bipolar junction transistors (BJTs) or even field-effect transistors (FETs). A transistor is a three-terminal active device that allows current flow on the main terminals to be controlled.
Usually, a monolithic integrated circuit has a single base semiconductor referred to as a die. For each amplifier IC, each die may have several transistors interconnected to create an electronic circuit that inputs a low-level signal and outputs a scaled-up version, a process called amplification. The square die could be 0.04 inches (1 mm) on each side. At this point, it is emphasized that electronics miniaturization is such that more than a dozen transistors and passive components like resistors and capacitors may fit it an area less than 0.002 square inch (1 square mm).
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