Appreciation: Jack Kilby

Jakc Kilby, pioneer of the microchip

The honor roll of history is full of quiet geniuses whose miraculous inventions are scorned at first sight. JACK KILBY, who died in Dallas last week at the age of 81, was no exception. His is hardly a household name, yet what this soft-spoken, 6-ft. 6-in. Missouri native pioneered--the integrated circuit--led us to the moon landing, personal computers, cell phones and the Internet. In short, the modern world. Back in 1958, computer circuits were expensive, unreliable, horribly slow and unlikely to get much faster given that transistors and other components had to be wired together by hand. Enter Kilby, a newly...

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