The history of integrated circuits (ICs) started in Bell Labs as early as 1947 when Bardeen and Brattain succeeded in the development of the first point-contact transistor utilizing semiconductor materials. The point-contact transistor was not a practical product, since it was hard to fabricate even as a separate device.
In 1951, commercialization began in earnest when the junction transistor was developed by Shockley, and within a decade it was being used in telephone systems, hearing aids, and radios.
Parallel to the invention of the transistor, in 1952, single crystal silicon was grown by Texas Instruments for use in transistors. During the same time, Bell continued in the development of several major components of photolithography, such as oxidation, diffusion, and etching with the use of photomasks, the fundamental tools in today's IC processing.