What is the difference between Integrated Circuits and Chip?

linux developement boards

Jakob Scherer:
There is no definition of what a chip is, but it typically means an electronic component. A subset of chips are the semiconductor chips and encompass several technologies like Silicon, Germanium, and others as the base material. A semiconductor chip may be a single transistor or a diode or other discrete components with single functions, or it may contain multiple components integrated on a single chip, called an integrated circuit. An integrated circuit may be relatively simple with only a handful of active elements, like logic gate chips, or it could be very complex with millions or billions of active elements, like microcomputer chips or memories. So all integrated circuits are chips, but not all chips are integrated circuits.

William Mays:
I assert that a thick-film integrated circuit, or a thin-film integrated circuit, are not to be called “chips”, the term “chip” is reserved for a semiconductor part.

Jakob Scherer:
You are right. Unless the thick- or thin-film circuit is purely passive, it probably has chips on it, packet or naked.

Oisin Daffyd:
It’s the same difference as there is between a bicycle and a bike, a plane and an aircraft.

A single component by the way is an SMD (Surface Mounted Device) and in over 40 years of experience in servicing, I’ve never heard it referred to as a ‘chip’

Jakob Scherer:
An active SMD device has one (or several) semiconductor chips in it. It could be a single function or an IC chip. I started working about the same time as you for a company that builds automatic machines to put chips into devices. Such machines are called die bonders. They are widely used to pick chips from cut wafers and glue them onto lead frames as the first step to make SMD devices.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *