I was just thinking to make a thread where those interested might add a post with their 3 most favourite ICs and a short description of what they do.
The reason you ask? Well partly because I'm curious, but most of all because its nice to know what everybody else uses - Maybe I can save some work or money in the future, or implement new features in my applications.
Anyway, fire at will 8)
Note: Since we all have the AVR at the top of the list anyway, let's skip those for now..
My top 3:
4511: BCD-to-7 segment driver. Because I use incredible amounts of displays, this is probably one of the most used ICs at all for me. Its cheap and easy as *ell to interface. All I need for this IC is that it comes with integrated current-limiting resistors for the display.
FT232: This little chip from FTDI allows me to interface to my PC via simulated serial on the USB (directly from the UART on the uCPU). This is good partly because its easy to use, but mainly because I don't have a living clue how to make a proper USB-interface or how the USB protocol works. Excellent peripheral for USB-n00bs just like me :D
74HC164: Serial-in, parallel-out chip. This way I can light up sequences of LEDs or address an infinite number of peripherals with just three pins on the uCPU (Yir!).
What are your favorites?