RIP, Jack Kilby

The guy who made my entire professional career possible died yesterday at the age of 81. Jack Kilby was a pioneer of semiconductor invention back in 1958 at Texas Instruments.

Microchip pioneer Jack Kilby, who won the 2000 Nobel Prize for co-inventing the integrated circuits that ushered in the digital age of personal computers, cell phones and the Internet, has died after a brief battle with cancer. He was 81.

In 1958, during his first year working with Texas Instruments Inc. in Dallas, Kilby used borrowed equipment to build the first integrated circuit. All the components were fabricated in a single piece of semiconductor material half the size of a paper clip.

“In my opinion, there are only a handful of people whose works have truly transformed the world and the way we live in it — Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers and Jack Kilby,” TI Chairman Tom Engibous said in a statement Tuesday.

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Kilby held more than 60 U.S. patents, including one filed in 1959 for a solid circuit made of germanium.

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From 1978 to 1984, he held the position of Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M University.

Thanks for the career opportunities, Jack. Full news article here.

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