An integrated circuit (IC) is nothing more than many transistors, diodes, capacitors and resistors connected together with conductors and placed on a single silicon chip. A single IC is a system within a system, with several to several thousand electrical circuits built into or onto a several-squaremillimeter silicon chip in a ceramic or plastic package. The advantages of the IC are the size and low cost of mass production along with low power consumption and reliability. An IC can be anything from simple logic gate to a microprocessor to almost a complete computer on a chip.
ICs are more reliable than non-integrated circuits because all the elements can be built into and onto a single silicon chip, thereby reducing contact junctions. In addition, the number of components is reduced.
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