Consisting of a strip of germanium with one transistor and other components all glued to a glass slide, the first working microchip, or integrated circuit, was demonstrated at Texas Instruments by one of the company's newest employees, Jack Kilby, on September 12, 1958. His rough device, measuring seven 16ths of an inch (11.5 millimetres) by one 16th of an inch, revolutionised electronics, and the world.
The microchip virtually created the modern computer industry, and the Internet would be unthinkable without it.
"Integrated circuits are so woven into our lives that it would be hard to imagine a world without them. The integrated circuit is the engine of the information age," TimesOnline quoted Jim Tully, chief of research at the technology analyst Gartner, as saying.