Integrated Circuits

This 5th article in the series of “Do It Yourself: Electronics”, kick starts you with an overview of some commonly used integrated circuits aka ICs.

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Out of the computer programming lab, Pugs headed towards the recently launched Innovation Garage. As he entered there, he saw many crazy geeks playing around with various stuff – not only software but electronics and mechanical stuff, as well. Pugs was super excited seeing all these around him – as if a dream come true – a multi disciplinary lab. He felt as if why not spend my whole time here – but sigh those classes, assignments, lab records, … won’t let him do that. “Why can’t there be only labs for just doing stuff, and that also without being to write lab records?”, Pugs murmured to himself.

“O! You are already here”, exclaimed Surya, as he entered the garage.

“Yes. It is so exciting”, replied Pugs.

“So, what are you planning to innovate on?”

“No idea. Just wondering. Don’t know where to start from.”

“That is simple. Just start from something you have been working on.”

“You mean to say the electronics experiment you taught me.”

“Yes – why not?”

“But that is too simple hobby stuff, for innovation.”

“So what? That’s where you start simple, and then gradually build complex stuff using them, and then more complex stuff using those complex stuff.”

“Something like writing our own functions, and then writing more complex functions using those functions, and so on.”

“You’d always need a software analogy”, sighed Surya. “Yes, you can say something like that.”

“Okay then, is there something like standard library functions, with some pre-built functionality, which can be directly used without bothering about what’s being done inside it?”

“Exactly! You stole my words. ICs are exactly those.”

“Now what is this IC? I know one – inferiority complex.”

“No. It stands for Integrated Circuits. Yes, they may give you IC (inferiority complex), by showing their capabilities”, responded Surya with a laugh.

“O! that would be cool.”

“What would be cool?”, asked Surya with a surprise look.

“Tomorrow is my first day to the Integrated Circuits Lab, and you just told me what an IC is – a standard library function. So, I can go and play around with them, tomorrow.”

“Yes, you can really have lot of fun – create electronic circuits faster and in better ways.”

“But, I have a doubt.”


“Do you have ‘man’ pages for the ICs, like we have for the standard library functions?”

“Yes, that’s where the datasheets come into action. Those are like the man pages, giving you the various usage details of the corresponding IC.”

“And those I need to get from the net, right?”


“But, how do I know, which IC should I be using where?”

“For that I can give you a kickstarter overview. And, then you would keep on finding more as the need arises.”

“O! sure.”

Kickstarter by Surya:

“Aha! So, we have been already using some of these ICs, and now you tell me that they are called ICs”, was Pugs’ response to the overview.

“That is called enlightenment”, laughed out Surya. “By the way, let me know your first IC lab experience.”

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Anil Kumar Pugalia (123 Posts)

The author is a hobbyist in open source hardware and software, with a passion for mathematics, and philosopher in thoughts. A gold medallist from the Indian Institute of Science, Linux, mathematics and knowledge sharing are few of his passions. He experiments with Linux and embedded systems to share his learnings through his weekend workshops. Learn more about him and his experiments at

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