Another early prototype had been kept by Tom Yeargan who was Kilby's chemical assistant. It will be sold in its mother city Dallas by Heritage on November 4, lot 72176 estimated $ 400K. It is complete with leads and wires on its original glass brick. This lot includes also a silicon prototype and a few documents.
I introduced as follows the key role of this invention before the same lot passed at Christie's on June 19, 2014 with a bidding at $ 850K that did not reach the reserved price required at that time.
A few inventions of the utmost importance punctuate the development of our civilization from settlement to globalization. Tool, weaving, art, number, writing, wheel and coin belong to antiquity.
Electronics, still in its infancy 60 years ago, accompanies all features of current life. Associated with the machine, it offers sophisticated robots. Associated with the wave, it enables an instantaneous world communication.
The starting point of modern electronics is the invention of the semiconductor transistor in 1947 in a laboratory of the Bell Telephone company. The scientists expect the miniaturization of computers. The military are interested. The industrialization is quickly growing.
Physicists, chemists and inventors embark into this new race to progress. In 1952, pioneers already imagine that the combination of transistors on a single piece of silicon or germanium will help to achieve complex electronic functionalities.
In 1958 Jack Kilby, an engineer recently hired by Texas Instruments company, manages to generate an oscillating signal by powering a germanium die specially prepared for him by the chemist Tom Yeargan.
The integrated circuit was born, immediately applied both to analog signals and to logic functions. Like for printing press, photography, telephone and motion pictures, the precedence of the first inventor over his competitors was short, but Kilby has well deserved his Nobel Prize in Physics in 2000 and Texas Instruments still remains one of the top leaders for the design and production of electronic parts.
Please watch the video shared by the auction house.