Advantages and Disadvantages of Integrated Circuit (IC)

Integrated circuits are crucial as it enables the miniaturization of components. They are used in making devices such as smart TVs and smartphones. Since Integrated Circuits make the components smaller, it helps reduce the device’s overall size. It helps reduce the size of all the smart devices we see today.

What are Integrated Circuits?

Integrated circuits can be accurately described as circuits that have inseparable and interconnected electrical components. An integrated circuit is connected so that it is impossible to separate them for any reason. Integrated circuits were called monolithic integrated circuits initially.

Integrated circuits are distinguished by replacing various elements with silicon particleboard, a distinct version of the board used at the time. The board size was lowered by silicon, which eliminated the requirement for transistors, resistors, diodes, and capacitors. In addition, the size was further decreased because these components could be attached to the silicon board.

Advantages of Integrated Circuit (IC)

Some major advantages of integrated circuits over discrete circuits are:

  • First, the extremely small size is a great advantage of Integrated circuits. Compared to discrete circuits, they are at least a thousand times smaller. The extremely small size is due to the fabrication of the different circuit components in a single chip of silicon or other semiconductor material.
  • Due to their extremely small size, Integrated Circuits are very lightweight. In addition, the miniaturized circuit contributes to the low weight.
  • Integrated circuits are significantly more reliable than discrete circuits. Integrated circuits are also more reliable due to the absence of soldered joints. Additionally, since Integrated Circuits need lesser interconnections, they are safer and more reliable.
  • Owing to their extremely small size, they consume less power. Therefore, it is more environmentally friendly to use integrated circuits.
  • The introduction of integrated circuits made smart devices much cheaper in the market worldwide. It has made various devices more accessible to people. The simultaneous production of hundreds of similar integrated circuits on a miniature semiconductor wafer is considerably cheap.
  • Integrated circuits have made our devices cheaper and easier to repair. Since Integrated Circuits are not highly expensive, you can easily replace them reasonably if there is any damage.
  • The advent of integrated circuits has significantly increased the quality of functional performance. Integrated circuits allow us to fabricate more complex circuits. This leads to devices with better characteristics.
  • Integrated circuits have significantly increased the operating speed of our devices. In addition, integrated circuits have increased the speed due to the elimination of the parasitic capacitance effect.
  • Integrated circuits have a greater capacity to operate at extremely high or low temperatures.
  • Since the different electrical components are put near each other on the small silicon wafer, there is little to no stray electrical pickup. Because of the low degree of stray electrical pickup, integrated circuits are optimal for small signal operation.
  • There are minimal temperature differences between the different elements of the circuit.
  • Due to the relatively cheap mass production of integrated circuits, they are produced in batches. Since integrated circuits are manufactured in batches, there is a close matching of elements and a temperature coefficient.
  • None of the elements in an integrated circuit is projected above the surface. Instead, all the integrated circuit elements are formed within the silicon chip.

Disadvantages of Integrated Circuits

Some major disadvantages of integrated circuits over discrete circuits are as follows:

  • Integrated circuits only supply a limited power rating. Because of the small size of integrated circuits compared to the discrete circuits, they cannot be expected to produce power higher than around 10 W.
  • An integrated circuit cannot be repaired. If they get damaged, you have to throw out the whole integrated circuit and buy a new one. Even though they are relatively cheap, you would need to buy a new integrated circuit every time it gets damaged. You cannot repair an integrated circuit because the whole circuit and all its elements are placed on a small silicon or semiconductor chip. Even if one of the elements gets damaged or stops working because of its small size, you cannot replace one element. Hence, you would need to replace the whole integrated circuit.
  • You can only operate a device with an integrated circuit at a low voltage. Integrated circuits cannot function at high voltages and must be used at a low voltage.
  • An external capacitor must be connected to the semiconductor chip because it is neither practical nor cost-effective to manufacture capacitances greater than 30pF. There should be a connection between the external capacitor and the semiconductor chip. As a result, discrete elements outside the integrated circuit chip are linked for greater capacitance values.
  • Because inductors and transformers cannot be fabricated on the semiconductor chip surface, inductors and transformers must be connected outside the chip.
  • Integrated circuits should be handled with extreme sensitivity and care since they cannot survive severe treatment or extreme heat.
  • The diffusion operations and other related manufacturing techniques are insufficient to manage the parameter values for the circuit components accurately. However, the ratios are under control to an appropriate degree.
  • Due to the small size of an integrated circuit, the P-N-P assembly of top quality is not feasible.
  • If you are using integrated circuits, it makes attaining a low-temperature coefficient quite difficult. As a result, the temperature coefficient is always high.
  • In integrated circuits, the transistor saturation resistance is considerably high.
  • Another great disadvantage of integrated circuits is capacitor and resistor voltage dependence.
  • There is a direct connection between the external elements in the integrated circuits.
  • It is not possible to change the parameter of integrated circuits.
  • You cannot manufacture an inductor and a transformer inside an integrated circuit since they are too large and heavy to fit on the small chip.
  • It is quite challenging to attain low noise operation while using an integrated circuit at a high voltage.
  • There is a link between the Larger values of capacitance discrete elements outside the integrated circuit chip

Conclusion

Integrated circuits are used widely in the technology industry to manufacture many devices such as TVs, smartphones, etc. People all across the globe accept integrated circuits. Also, they regard it as a better option. But there are some disadvantages of the same. Listed above are both the advantages and disadvantages of integrated circuits.

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