What are your favorite ICs and why?

Pt 2473
Our new wiki, we are just starting to add information – What are your favorite ICs and why? Add yours! (and where to get them!)…

Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 8,500+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython – Python on Microcontrollers is here!

Have an amazing project to share? Join the SHOW-AND-TELL every Wednesday night at 7:30pm ET on Google+ Hangouts.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/

Maker Business — Rethink Robotics closes shop. Long live collaborative robots #makerbusiness

Wearables — Cleaning is key

Electronics — Serial overkill

Biohacking — Biohacking Resources – Books, Talks and Podcasts

Python for Microcontrollers — CircuitPython @ Hackaday SuperCon #ICYMI @circuitpython @micropython @ThePSF #Python

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !


  1. LM386 (best lil audio chip out there, along w/ the LM380),the SA612/NE602 mixer chip (make a radio w/ just those 2 chips, the late, great LM3909 LED blinker chip.Noteworthy (for me) also the NE5532 op amp, and the SN76477 synth on a chip. Good times ; )

  2. this is a great idea… i love it 😀

  3. AVR surely 🙂

  4. mojo, we’ll have a section just for microcontrollers.

  5. 555 timer and the pic 08M because it’s so teeny tiny and does almost anything….

  6. What about the 4066? CD4066 for example.

  7. Those ones with the long, sexy legs on ’em.

  8. Off topic, but I love that you went with Dokuwiki.

    I set one up for my Lab about a year ago and so far it is universally loved.

  9. dokuwiki is the best of the worst 🙂 we skin it without much difficulty (see http://www.ladyada.net/library/laser/) eventually we will have pretty much everything with the wiki backend and a skinned front

  10. I’m a big fan of the 4051/4052/4053 series of analog multiplexers/demultiplexers. I’ve found them to be very versatile in a number of applications, and they come in 1:8, 2:4 or 3:2 varieties, are bi-directional, reasonably fast, not very noisy.

    I kinda grew up on the 8038 for waveform generation, but I think these are pretty much considered obsolete these days. Hard to find.

    For voltage regulation, the 78** and 79** family are pretty much what I always use. You’ve might need to be conscious about the package you use, of course, but these chips are pretty reliable.

    What do you all prefer for shift registers? I like the 595 series myself, but maybe there’s a better general-use shift register out there. The 74HC595 is fine for simply working with logic, but no good if you want to drive/sink LEDs or anything like that. But that’s where the whole family of TPIC6595, TPIC6A595, TPIC6B595, TPIC6C595, TPIC6D595 chips come in. Since they all work in the same manner, but have different current sinking capabilities, you get a lot of flexibility. Trying to find them, though is often a pain in the butt. I really like that this family is so easy to use, and you can daisy chain a bunch together to create a practically infinite register.

    And of course, good old 555. One of the oldest and still most useful chips ever made!

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.