Integrated Circuits

Integrated circuits can be classified into analog, digital and mixed signal (both analog and digital on the same chip).

Digital integrated circuits can contain anywhere from one to millions of logic gates, flip-flops, multiplexers, and other circuits in a few square millimeters. The small size of these circuits allows high speed, low power dissipation, and reduced manufacturing cost compared with board-level integration. These digital ICs, typically microprocessors, DSPs, and microcontrollers, work using binary mathematics to process “one” and “zero” signals.

Analog ICs, such as sensors, power management circuits, and operational amplifiers, work by processing continuous signals. They perform functions like amplification, active filtering, demodulation, and mixing. Analog ICs ease the burden on circuit designers by having expertly designed analog circuits available instead of designing a difficult analog circuit from scratch.

ICs can also combine analog and digital circuits on a single chip to create functions such as A/D converters and D/A converters. Such mixed-signal circuits offer smaller size and lower cost, but must carefully account for signal interference.

Modern electronic component distributors often further sub-categorize the huge variety of integrated circuits now available:
Digital ICs are further sub-categorized as logic ICs, memory chips, interface ICs (level shifters, serializer/deserializer, etc.), Power Management ICs, and programmable devices.
​Analog ICs are further sub-categorized as linear ICs and RF ICs.
​mixed-signal integrated circuits are further sub-categorized as data acquisition ICs (including A/D converters, D/A converter, digital potentiometers) and clock/timing ICs.

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