The world’s first microchip remains unsold

Christie’s Auction House failed to sell the world’s first microchip made in 1958. The prototype of the integrated circuit was built by the American physicist Jack Kilby (1923-2005), who worked at Texas Instruments at the time. The 50-by-50-millimetre semiconductor chip consists of a germanium wafer and wires mounted on a glass plate. Other scientists were also engaged in the development of a similar technology, but it was Kilby who entered into the history of science as the father and patent holder of the invention that significantly contributed to IT advancement. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work in 2000.

The reason for the unsuccessful auction is simple: the price was set too high, and nobody made a bid that would meet the 1 million dollar put-up price. The highest bid reached 850 thousand dollars, but the Auction House did not sell the microchip for this much.