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Christie's to auction antique 1958 microchip

Christie's to auction antique 1958 microchip

A collector’s item in vintage technology

Image: Christie's

A historic prototype used in a Nobel Prize-winning invention of computing history goes on sale at Christie’s New York in June

Hailed by Christie's as "one of the most important advancements in the history of computing", the antique artefact goes on sale on June 19 in New York and is estimated at $1 million – $2 million. The prototype was made in 1958 by Tom Yeargan for Jack Kilby at Texas Instruments and demonstrated the first integrated circuit on a single chip (later known as the microchip). 

The invention revolutionised the computing industry and helped spawn the birth of the 'microchip era', which remains in use to date through day-to-day electronic devices. Kilby's innovative work at Texas Instruments, including technological breakthroughs that reduced the size and cost of computing power, led him to win the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2000 for his part in the invention of the integrated circuit.

The historic artefact is part of the Sale of 'Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts including Americana'.

The lot will be on public view in Christie's London Galleries from May 22-23, and May 27-28, before travelling to the U.S. for a viewing at Christie's New York Rockefeller Centre, from June 14-18.