An integrated circuit is a set of miniature electronic circuits, including transistors, diodes, resistors and capacitors, built onto a semiconductor material. It is considered to be an essential building block for the modern microprocessor.
Jack Kilby of Texas Instrument and Robert Noyce of Fairchild Semiconductor Corporation filed for independent patents within months of each other.
Shown is a photo of Kilby's first integrated circuit, which was unveiled to fellow Texas Instrument engineers in 1958.
Kilby filed for patent number 3,138,743 on February 6, 1959 for a miniaturized electronic circuits in Dallas, Texas. Noyce filed for patent number 2,981,877 on July 30, 1959 in Mountain View, Calif. for a semiconductor device-and-lead structure. Ultimately, the first patent was awarded to Noyce on April 25, 1961.
Noyce went on to co-found Intel Corporation in 1968 and Kilby won a Nobel Prize in physics in 2000 "for his part in the invention of the integrated circuit."
Sources: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, National Inventors Hall of Fame, Intel, Texas Instrument