Integrated circuits are also called ICs. These are known by different names such as microchip or chip as well. These are basically semiconductor wafers produced by companies such as altera . These have either thousands or millions of different tiny resistors as well as transistors and capacitors which are fabricated. These ICs function in different forms. They can function either as an oscillator, amplifier, computer memory, timers, counters or even as microprocessors. The IC or integrated circuits are categorized either on the application which they are intended for or else they can be categorized on the type of signals such as analog or digital. ICs or chips are the main heart and soul of electronics. Without ICs being there electronics is nonexistent. The reason why electronics has blossomed is due to the chips being made smaller, more compact, cheaper as well as which are more efficient and thus consume less power. These ICs are not only used in several forms but are being used in more and more applications and devices everyday.
These ICs which are linear are those where the output is variable and continuous. There are infinite states that this can attain. The states are dependent on the level of the input signal. Therefore, when the output is plotted against the input the graph which comes out is a straight line. These linear ICs are also used for amplifiers of the radio frequency as well as audio frequency kinds.
Digital ICs differ to analog ICs. In this there are limited states or levels. This is used for computer networks, computers, frequency counters and modems. These digital ICs make use of logic gates which uses binary data and the states are either 0 or 1.
Companies like Altera produce these Programmable logic devices as well as the digital circuits which are highly complex as well as reconfigurable.