Jack S. Kilby

Jack S. Kilby
Jack S. Kilby
Co-inventor of the integrated circuit. Co-inventor of the hand-held calculator and the thermal printer used in portable data terminals.

Honored Posthumously

Jack S. Kilby began his career in 1947 with Globe Union Inc. in Milwaukee, developing ceramic-base, silk-screen circuits for consumer electronic products. In 1958, he joined Texas Instruments (TI) in Dallas. Over the summer, working with borrowed and improvised equipment, he conceived and built the first electronic circuit in which all of the components, both active and passive, were fabricated in a single piece of semiconductor material half the size of a paper clip.

The successful laboratory demonstration of that first simple microchip on September 12, 1958, made history. This monolithic integrated circuit— the microchip—laid the conceptual and technical foundation for the entire field of modern microelectronics. This breakthrough made possible the high-speed computers and large-capacity semiconductor memories of today’s information age.

Kilby went on to pioneer military, industrial, and commercial applications of microchip technology. He headed teams that built the first military system and the first computer incorporating integrated circuits. He later co-invented the hand-held calculator and the thermal printer that was used in portable data terminals. From 1978 to 1984, he held the position of Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M University.

Kilby was awarded the most prestigious honors in science and engineering. In a 1970 White House ceremony, he received the National Medal of Science. In 1982, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, taking his place alongside Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and the Wright Brothers in the annals of American innovation. Kilby held more than 60 U.S. patents. In 2000, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his part in the invention of the integrated circuit. He was a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Adapted from information provided on the TI website.

Nobel Prize in Physics 2000


  • BS, Electrical Engineering, 1947
  • Honorary Degree, 1988