An electronic circuit is a group of electronic components connected for a specific purpose.
A simple electronic circuit can be designed easily because it requires few discrete electronic components and connections. However, designing a complex electronic circuit is difficult, as it requires more number of discrete electronic components and their connections. It is also time taking to build such complex circuits and their reliability is also less. These difficulties can be overcome with Integrated Circuits.
If multiple electronic components are interconnected on a single chip of semiconductor material, then that chip is called as an Integrated Circuit (IC). It consists of both active and passive components.
This chapter discusses the advantages and types of ICs.
Integrated circuits offer many advantages. They are discussed below −
Compact size − For a given functionality, you can obtain a circuit of smaller size using ICs, compared to that built using a discrete circuit.
Lesser weight − A circuit built with ICs weighs lesser when compared to the weight of a discrete circuit that is used for implementing the same function of IC. using ICs, compared to that built using a discrete circuit.
Low power consumption − ICs consume lower power than a traditional circuit,because of their smaller size and construction.
Reduced cost − ICs are available at much reduced cost than discrete circuits because of their fabrication technologies and usage of lesser material than discrete circuits.
Increased reliability − Since they employ lesser connections, ICs offer increased reliability compared to digital circuits.
Improved operating speeds − ICs operate at improved speeds because of their switching speeds and lesser power consumption.
Integrated circuits are of two types − Analog Integrated Circuits and Digital Integrated Circuits.
Integrated circuits that operate over an entire range of continuous values of the signal amplitude are called as Analog Integrated Circuits. These are further classified into the two types as discussed here −
Linear Integrated Circuits − An analog IC is said to be Linear, if there exists a linear relation between its voltage and current. IC 741, an 8-pin Dual In-line Package (DIP)op-amp, is an example of Linear IC.
Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits − An analog IC is said to be Non-Linear, if there exists a non-linear relation between its voltage and current. A Non-Linear IC is also called as Radio Frequency IC.
If the integrated circuits operate only at a few pre-defined levels instead of operating for an entire range of continuous values of the signal amplitude, then those are called as Digital Integrated Circuits.
In the coming chapters, we will discuss about various Linear Integrated Circuits and their applications.