I was told by my professor that ICs can be of two types, monolithic and hybrid and then she went on to explain technologies of fabrication. What is the difference between a monolithic IC and a hybrid IC?


A monlithic integrated circuit has the full circuit constructed on a single piece of silicon or other semiconductor, then (usually) enclosed in a package with connecting leads.

A Hybrid circuit consists of a (often ceramic) substrate carrying one or more silicon chips (which may themselves be monolithic integrated circuits, individual diodes, or transistors). Resistors and conductive tracks may be deposited on the substrate, and other parts may be soldered to the tracks to form a complete circuit. A hybrid can also use mixed technology, such as GaSs chips along with silicon chips.

I would not normally consider a hybrid to be a type of integrated circuit, but others might.

  • \$\begingroup\$ yes my proff added the same comment, to quote "I don't consider hybrid packages as ICs, but remember never to be politically right wing with your ideology in this respect" \$\endgroup\$ Nov 12 '14 at 23:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your answer is a little too limiting wrt to the hybrid. In deed on of the reasons for a hybrid is to use say GaAs chips along side Si chips. I would remove the mention of Silicon in the second paragraph, and in the first paragraph I would replace "piece of silicon" with "die". \$\endgroup\$ Nov 13 '14 at 2:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ @placeholder What is the difference between a die and a wafer? I knew that we use wafers to design our silicon circuits and also fabricate our MEMS designs on them. What is a die. I apologize for my ignorance, I'm still a student... \$\endgroup\$ Nov 14 '14 at 9:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ubuntu_noob: A die is an individual unpackaged IC or transistor. A wafer is a large disk of semiconductor containing many (usually identical) dies. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 14 '14 at 17:01

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