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The Million Dollar Microchip

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These days a standard microchip will cost you pennies - but this particular one is no standard chip off the old block.

A 1958 prototype of a microchip that helped its inventor, Jack Kilby, win the Nobel prize is going on sale today at Christie's and is expected to fetch at least $1m (£590,000).

The prototype was the world's first integrated circuit on a single chip and was made at Texas Instruments - where he was later to co-invent the handheld calculator, of which they went on to sell a fair few. It consists of a doubly diffused germanium wafer with gold wire and four platinum leads and it described by Christie's as "virtually the birth certificate of the modern computing era".

So, if you fancy owning a piece of computing history, get down to Christie's today; alternatively, you could buy 1,475 Playstation 4s - the choice is yours.

[via Wired]

(Images: Getty)

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