Advantages and Disadvantages of Integrated Circuits (ICs)

Advantages of Integrated Circuits


The major advantages of integrated circuits over those made by interconnecting discrete components are as follows :

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  1. Extremely small size – Thousands times smaller than discrete circuits. It is because of fabrication of various circuit elements in a single chip of semiconductor material.
  2. Very small weight owing to miniaturised circuit.
  3. Very low cost because of simultaneous production of hundreds of similar circuits on a small semiconductor wafer. Owing to mass production of an IC costs as much as an individual transistor.
  4. More reliable because of elimination of soldered joints and need for fewer interconnections.
  5. Lower power consumption because of their smaller size.
  6. Easy replacement as it is more economical to replace them than to repair them.
  7. Increased operating speed because of absence of parasitic capacitance effect.
  8. Close matching of components and temperature coefficients because of bulk production in batches.
  9. Improved functional performance as more complex circuits can be fabricated for achieving better characteristics.
  10. Greater ability of operating at extreme temperatures.
  11. Suitable for small signal operation because of no chance of stray electrical pickup as various components of an INC are located very close to each other on a silicon wafer.
  12. No component project above the chip surface in an INC as all the components are formed within the chip.

Disadvantages of Integrated Circuits

The major disadvantages of integrated circuits over those made by interconnecting discrete components are as follows :

In an IC the various components are part of a small semiconductor chip and the individual component or components cannot be removed or replaced, therefore, if any component in an IC fails, the whole IC has to be replaced by a new one.

Limited power rating as it is not possible to manufacture high power (say greater than 10 W) ICs.

Need of connecting inductors and transformers exterior to the semiconductor chip as it is not possible to fabricate inductor and transformers on the semiconductor chip surface.

Operation at low voltage as ICs function at fairly low voltage.

Quite delicate in handling as these cannot withstand rough handling or excessive heat.

Need of connecting capacitor exterior to the semiconductor chip as it is neither convenient nor economical to fabricate capacitances exceeding 30pF. Therefore, for higher values of capacitance, discrete components exterior to IC chip are connected.

High grade P-N-P assembly is not possible.

Low temperature coefficient is difficult to be achieved.

Large value of saturation resistance of transistors.

Voltage dependence of resistor and capacitors.

The diffusion processes and other related procedures used in the fabrication process are not good enough to permit a precise control of the parameter values for the circuit elements. However, control of the ratios is at a sufficiently acceptable level.