The world of tomorrow, today: A look inside Kilby Labs

In the fast-paced world of high-tech innovation − where sophisticated technologists solve today’s pressing problems – a team peers far into the future to invent the disruptive technologies of tomorrow.

“We’re investing in innovation that’s well beyond what’s available today or what will be available tomorrow,” said Paul Emerson, who leads the nanotechnology group in Kilby. “Our goal is to introduce disruptive solutions that change the game.”

Since 2009, when we created applied research center Kilby Labs, leading technologists have been collaborating with our business, manufacturing and technology teams – as well as university researchers and other partners − to develop groundbreaking, foundational technologies that are critical for our customers’ long-term success.

“The Kilby Labs structure, which is unique in the high-tech industry, creates small, agile teams to work on ideas inspired by interactions with users of technology,” said Ahmad Bahai, our chief technologist. “The multidisciplinary research projects lead to technical disruptions that increase the competitive market position for our customers and for TI or create market disruptions that expand the market.”

“The Kilby Labs team is comprised of people from leading research universities working in an open environment on higher-risk, challenging projects,” said Jeff Morroni, who leads the center’s power management team. “We have a lot of challenges to solve and a lot of people who are willing to think outside the box, question assumptions and propose new ideas.”

Pushing the technical envelope

Named for Jack Kilby, who unveiled the first working integrated circuit at TI on Sept. 12, 1958, Kilby Labs has locations in Dallas, Silicon Valley and India. Our teams of Kilby Labs innovators take their projects through rigorous review and analysis – and when technology developed by Kilby Labs is mature, most projects are transferred to business units for final development and to prepare them to be released to market.

Recent technologies that began in Kilby Labs and later transferred to business units include the SWIFT™ TPS54A20 series capacitor buck converter, which enables electronic power supplies to shrink to 20 percent or less of their previous size, and LMG3410, which is a high-voltage, driver-integrated solution built around groundbreaking gallium-nitride (GaN) technology.

Heritage of innovation

Our heritage of innovation began long before the creation of Kilby Labs and well before Jack Kilby invented the integrated circuit. But Jack’s first circuit – fabricated during a hot summer in Dallas when he didn’t have enough tenure to take vacation − unleashed the technical revolution that continues unabated today.

“Jack Kilby pioneered innovation in integrated circuits with perseverance and audacity in trying new approaches,” said Baher Haroun, TI Senior Fellow and leader of the Kilby Labs signal path team. “We have embraced his approach by creating a unique environment of young talented researchers working alongside experienced technologists to combine the best of fresh ideas and invaluable experience that has a direct impact on TI’s technology leadership.”

Today, Jack Kilby’s remarkable legacy is all around us. And on this day – Sept. 12, Jack Kilby Day – we honor and celebrate the spirit of innovation that Jack embodied, as well as innovators all over the world who are imagining and creating a better tomorrow through technology.

We benefit from Jack’s innovation – and the multitude of innovations that resulted from it − every time we make a phone call, drive a car, load a post to social media or engage in any number of other everyday activities. His impact continues as our Kilby Labs team works with our business partners to anticipate what problems might need to be solved in the future and then create unprecedented opportunities for innovation.

“Our products enable thousands upon thousands of companies to become an army of problem-solvers,” said Nick Hassan, director of Advanced Development. “The solutions that we have delivered through the years enable many innovators to come up with new equipment, products, services and ideas that impact the quality of life on the planet.”

We invite you to join us in celebrating Jack Kilby Day by following #JackKilbyDay on social media and joining the conversation.