Today on the IoT News we will tell you the interesting story of the first microchip and an auction that went wrong. The news was drawn from two articles that appeared on theatlantic.com and livescience.com.
Enjoy the reading!
The first microchip in history was created in 1958 by engineer Jack Kilby.
Kilby, an electronics engineer at Texas Instruments, had no idea that his first integrated circuit would change history and start the extraordinary journey of modern technology. Today, as we all know, microchips are present in all electronic devices we use – not just smartphones and computers, which count at least 20 each.
The most important feature of microchips was, without any doubt, the possibility of miniaturizing electronic devices: just think of the size of the first computers and compare them to those on the market today.
Thanks to his invention Kilby won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2000. Despite this, his original chip (in collaboration with Tom Yeargan) went up for auction thanks to the mediation of the most important auction house in the world, Christie’s, and it was not bought by anyone!
The precious object was owned by the Yeargan family, who called it “the birth certificate of the modern era of information technology”. Together with the chip, kept in a plastic and glass case, there was a label autographed by Kilby himself and a sort of “diary” containing the chronology of the construction of the chip dated March 6, 1964.
According to estimates by some experts, the chip could have sold for $ 1 million or $ 2 million; however, the highest bid did not reach $ 850,000. The object is one of the first to have been preserved and therefore belongs to a private collection: it is a unique opportunity to purchase a real piece of history that collectors should not have wasted.
However, two other prototypes of the chip are now kept in two museums, the Smithsonian and the Chicago Museum of Technology, and can be admired by all technology enthusiasts.
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