Integrated Circuits

ICs are components that are packaged up in various forms with various features and capabilities. They can be through hole or surface mount devices. A processor, like a microcontroller, is an IC, and usually a pretty complicated one. A shift register is another example of an IC. Each IC has a job that it is suited for in a circuit and usually it helps significantly reduce the size of electronics.

Sparkfun has a great tutorial on integrated circuits and a great tutorial on shift registers if you want to know more about them.

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