Excerpt from The PC Pioneers
Kilby had pursued a different route to others connecting the capacitors, transistors and resistors with fine gold wiring that he called ‘flying wires’. He had beaten Noyce to it when his solid circuit concept was announced in March 1959.
Kilby had failed his entry exams to MIT by a ‘smidge’ and therefore graduated from the University of Illinois achieving his master’s at the University of Wisconsin.
During WWII he concentrated on miniaturisation of radios to be used for jungle-warfare. In 1947 he worked at Centralab, Milwaukee on radio and television components and hearing aids. Here he was free to experiment as the electronics field advanced and in doing so earned ten or more patents.
He joined Texas Instruments (TI) in 1958. TI had also been early in the move from germanium towards silicon for its transistors and it was Kilby who saw how silicon might be used for ICs. He had joined TI to spend his time on miniaturisation and came up with his ‘Monolithic’ idea, which he described as,
‘…circuit elements such as resistors, capacitors, distributed capacitors and transistors – if all made of the same material – could be included in a single chip.’