Operation of Integrated Circuits
We know that an integrated circuit (see Construction of an Integrated Circuit) is basically a combination of diodes, transistors, and microprocessors in a minimized form on a semi-conductor material called a wafer, which is usually silicon. Each electronic component has a specific function, and when they are combined with each other, they can perform multiple tasks and calculations. We will discuss the functions of these components briefly.
Diodes are basically electronic devices that function to control the flow of current within a circuit. Diodes control the amount of current flowing in the circuit and the direction of the current. They allow the current to only flow in certain paths.
In the early 20th century, transistor radios were introduced. The purpose of transistors is to store voltages or act as a stabilizer for the circuit. Transistors can be used to amplify a given signal. Transistors can also be used as switches, just like a light switch, except they work with digital circuits. For example, a transistor can allow a certain amount of voltage to enter a part of a circuit by using a gate which will open at a specific voltage. In binary, "1" is for opening the gate and "0" is for closing it. In this way, a transistor sends the data throughout the system.
The microprocessor is the most important part of the IC. The main purpose of the microprocessor is to provide memory to the system. It also provides memory to perform calculations and follow a certain logic or protocol. The protocol or the logic tells the microprocessor how to process the data and electricity throughout the system. The microprocessor can be referred to as the "operating system" of an integrated circuit, as it allows other components to interact with each other.
These components work together within an integrated circuit to carry out different operations. There are many ICs in which the numbers of these electronic components exceed the number of humans on earth.